The U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have now been part of the global conversation for nearly 15 years, and have proved to be a popular way to think about global development. As the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs looms, the discussion over what the next set of global ambitions should be is throwing into sharp relief some of the big changes that have happened in the world of global development policy, and in the world more generally, since the 1990s.

After Success: Poverty Beyond the MDGs

By , , Feature

To be living in Europe and working on development at the moment is something of a schizophrenic existence. On the one hand, European countries are facing austerity, cuts and recession. On the other, supposedly less “developed” countries are experiencing growth, expansion and improvement. It’s a context that makes the discussions about the next set of global development goals very interesting indeed. Where exactly are the problems in the world that our new goals should fix, and what exactly are they?

Twenty years ago, when the last set of development goals was agreed upon in the form of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the answers were a bit clearer. Extreme poverty was the norm in many regions. In Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, more than half of the population lived on less than $1.25 in 1990. Between a quarter and a half of all children in those two regions were underweight, and in Africa only half of all children were in school. ...

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