Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs




Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs

November 9, 2016

This UNDP-World Bank Report pulls together the main lessons learned from the MDG Reviews for the UN system and for its engagement at the country level, which took place at the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB). The Reviews, which brought together UN and World Bank Group staff, systematically identified the country situation, the bottlenecks to MDG attainment, and potential solutions to be implemented. Since many MDGs have been absorbed into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), many of the observations and solutions provided could prove useful to the implementation of the SDGs.

Sixteen countries from across the world and the subregion of the Pacific Island countries took part in the CEB reviews, addressing several different MDGs.

These strongly advocated for cross-sectoral and cross-institutional thinking within the UN system to accelerate progress on off-track MDG targets. Bottleneck analysis, proposed under the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF), helped UN system organizations fully appreciate that investing in solutions within a particular sector may be necessary, but not sufficient to gain enough momentum to meet a particular target.

The CEB reviews showed that significant gains were possible when agencies came together to support an acceleration goal. Country teams improved the alignment and coherence of UN system activities on the ground, bridged sectoral silos while still valuing the specialized expertise of individual agencies, and more effectively advocated with governments and other partners. High-level coordination between UN country teams and World Bank country offices was repeatedly recognized as an accomplishment.

Three main conclusions clearly apply to the transition from the MDGs to the 2030 Agenda:

  • Support cross-institutional collaboration between the UN system and the World Bank;
  • Advance better understanding of cross-sectoral work, and the interrelatedness of goals and targets; and
  • Promote global and high-level advocacy.