UNDP puts forward new approach to speed up progress on MDGs
The framework identifies key barriers and practical local solutions
New York —The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) presented today the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Acceleration Framework, an innovative approach designed to help countries identify and resolve barriers to eradicating extreme poverty, and achieving sustainable development.
The Framework was presented at an event entitled Turning evidence into practice: Learning from what works to accelerate MDG progress held during the world leaders’ Summit to review progress on the MDGs, eight internationally-agreed goals aimed at reducing poverty and improving education, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability by 2015.
“I look forward to seeing the MDG Acceleration Framework play a successful role in helping to deliver a better life for billions of people around the world,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his keynote address.
“The MDG Acceleration Framework provides a systematic way of identifying bottlenecks and solutions to address them, helping countries to develop their own action plans,” added UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “There is a wide range of proven policies and interventions that can ensure progress if they are adapted to the national context and when governments take the lead with effective assistance from partners.”
This new approach responds to the world leaders’ calls emerging out of the Summit to heighten efforts to meet the MDGs by the 2015 deadline. It also addresses disparities and inequalities, one of the major causes of uneven MDG progress across and within countries, by responding to the needs of the most vulnerable —the poorest of the poor, women and ethnic minorities.
Ten countries began to pilot this approach earlier this year with the support of UNDP and the broader UN system. The pilot countries —from different regions— each chose particular off-track targets as their main focus area and identified the constraints to faster progress, practical solutions to address them, and partners to implement those solutions.
Togo, one of the pilot countries, identified the lack of access to fertilisers, improved seeds and support to farmers as a major obstacle to progress towards the poverty goal. The government brought together a range of partners to identify the best solutions from within Togo, and from other countries facing similar challenges. They included introducing revolving loans and vouchers to help small farmers buy fertilisers and improved seeds, and increasing support such as skills training to small farmers, especially women.
“In Togo, the MDG Acceleration Framework has helped to analyse the obstacles to improving agricultural productivity and proposed proven acceleration solutions,” said Prime Minister of Togo Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo on the first day of the Summit.
Other pilot countries have applied similar principles. Ghana and Uganda are both working on improving maternal health. Belize is focusing on improving access to water and sanitation. The Governments of Jordan and Tanzania are using the Acceleration Framework approach to enhance food and nutrition security. In Tajikistan, work is ongoing to facilitate poor people’s access to energy. Papua New Guinea has relied on the framework to improve its attainment of the education goals. Colombia has applied it to tackle deeply-entrenched inequality through local-level planning and action.
Speaking on the panel, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and President Choummaly Sayasone of Lao PDR outlined the progress of the MDG Acceleration Framework in their countries.