MDGs Critique: Donors and Aid

After talking about the potential shortcomings of the Millennium Development Goals in class, I decided to search for an in depth critique of the goals. This article, put out by the Transnational Institute, looks at the relationship between the Millennium Development Goals and international project aid & funding.

The author of the article poses the question of if donors are taking the MDGs seriously or not. He found that donor spending in some sectors had hardly increased at all, and not nearly enough to cover the estimated $40-60 billion required to achieve the MDGs.

Goal number 8, ‘Develop a Global Partnership for Development’, cites the increased access to Information Communication Technologies as one of its successes. However, expanding the access to ICTs requires a significant amount of money. A U.N. report stated that the levels of official development assistance are high, but have short-changed African countries.

Although I enjoyed reading this critique of the Millennium Development Goals, I would have liked to find an article that focuses on dissecting each MDG. It seems to me like some of them are impossible to measure, and amount to nothing more than feel good resolutions. Environmental sustainability is a goal that nearly every nation is striving towards. But ‘environmental sustainability’ is broadly defined, and spans many different issues (water, biodiversity, agriculture, energy, climate change, pollution, etc.), as a MDG it somewhat lacks focus. I would be interested in reading a critique that offered solutions or alternatives to achieving these goals.

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One response to “MDGs Critique: Donors and Aid

  • twkelly

    I agree with your opinions on the vagueness of ‘environmental stability’. While researching ICT in Mexico this past week, environmental sustainability has been the most common trend that I have found in my resources. It made me wonder why there was a significantly larger focus on the environment in Mexico when it seems as though achieving the other MDGs could be more beneficial to the country. I also found it interesting that a developing country is focusing so heavily on an issue that our own country is focusing on; it is a testament to the different ideas of ‘successful environmental stability’ in each country. This made me wonder if the MDGs have ever been ranked by a sort of ‘necessity’ or ‘importance’ to a country. This is a topic I will look into in future ICT4D posts.

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