New online tool will monitor MDG achievement in Brazil

29 Jan 2009

A new tool to monitor the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the local level has just been launched in Brazil. The MDG Portal (www.portalodm.org.br) is an online tool that shows social, economic and environmental indicators that will enable citizens to monitor the achievement of the MDGs in all 5,564 Brazilian municipalities. The MDGs are eight macro-level targets agreed by more than 190 UN member countries to improve people’s lives in a sustainable manner.

The new MDG Portal aims to involve people in the implementation of public policies by offering information – in an easy and colorful way – on how their city has been achieving the MDGs. The private sector may also rely on the Portal to effectively define their social responsibility initiatives at the municipal level. Moreover, the updated information made easily made available on the Portal will show mayors where their greatest challenges lie – and what has been accomplished.

“Monitoring the MDGs in the local level is particularly important in countries with inter and intraregional socioeconomic disparities”, said the executive coordinator of Public Policy Support Center (NAPP, in Portuguese), one of the civil society organizations involved in the Portal. “Averaging the countries’ achievements may show great overall advances, but local problems continue,” he added.

The portal was developed by Sustainability Indicators Observatory (orbis.org.br), a privately funded civil society organization that will also be responsible for updating the MDG Portal. The initiative is coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), along with civil society movements and the national Ministry for Planning, Budget and Management.
 
Current information from the country’s municipalities was based on latest available official data, also using UNICEF’s database system, DevInfo, a tool that assists countries in reporting on the MDGs. The viewer has easy access to the latest information available with maps, tables and graphs related to each of the eight MDGs.

A survey conducted with data gathered by the “MDG Portal” points to the main advances and challenges that recently elected mayors face in Brazil. The study divided the municipalities in two groups: the top 20% with highest proportion of poor people (1,113 cities) and the 20% with least proportion of poor people (living on less than half a minimum wage per month). Cities with the largest amount of poor population lie in the Northern and Northeastern regions.  

The official launch was today during at the World Social Forum (WSF), held this year in the city of Belem, in the northern state of Para, in Brazil. This year’s Forum is taking place between January 27 and February 1. WSF is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations come together to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, share experiences and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, the Forum has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives in search of fairer practices.

Contact Information

Carolina Azevedo, UNDP, Carolina.azevedo@undp.org, (New York, USA)+1 212 906 6127

Estela Caparelli, UNICEF,  mecaparelli@unicef.org (Brasilia, Brazil) +55 61 3035 196