“We Need Goals because they Help Keep the World Together”

Here is a short interview with Jeffrey Sachs a well known economist in the development community. While this interview is very short I think he makes two very good points.

The MDG’s have come under scrutiny for many reasons, especially that they are essentially a filter that development has to go through now, which present difficulties, as well as the fact that while well intentioned, they may not be the best or most effective ways of going about development and combating injustices.

That being said, Sachs has one line in this interview that I think really stands out. “We argue about so many things, agreeing on a few things is extremely important.” More than being well intentioned the MDG’s have given the world REAL, MEASURABLE development goals to rally around. And yes, while some development projects like Urban ICT4D projects may have gotten less attention or funding in recent history, it seems that in general the MDGs have allowed more people to be players in development. They have allowed nations to come together over shared goals of education (and other things) and leave the disputes of economic policy by the wayside.

For the most part, I believe that the MDG’s have done a massive amount of good. Sure, maybe they aren’t ALWAYS the MOST effective ways of aiding development. But they have allowed a massive amount of development to take place in a very short amount of time, with a number of governments and agencies collaborating over shared goals, WELL. This is progress.


About zgoldmann

2 responses to ““We Need Goals because they Help Keep the World Together”

  • hgalante

    I really like that quote as well, however the question I pose is one of excessive, potentially ignorant, participation. It is undoubtedly a necessity to make these causes hold more weight in political discourse, but is there a drawback to involving too many people that, in the words of Sachs, “can’t deal with the technical stuff”? If someone can’t understand the policy or project being put forth because they don’t have a background in that field, should they be the face of the lobbying for that topic? Where do we draw the line between exclusivity and making development projects simply “trendy”.

  • margaretvariano

    I would have to agree that the MDGs have created a lot of good. I definitely think theres is a way to go with these development goals, however, like you said, it has drawn a lot of attention to many essential development projects. We have been able to rally around a number of issues that need the most attention and work. I also agree with the comment above in that we need to prioritize and reassess the ways in which we are promoting and implementing development. We need to choose how our programs can be the most successful, even if it may not be the most popular or desirable.

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