SDGs

How will we know if the SDGs are having any impact?

Duncan Green - June 8, 2017

As long time readers of the blog will know, I’ve been a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) sceptic since long before they were even agreed. However, I’ve been hearing a fair amount about them recently – people telling me that governments North and South, companies and city administrations are using them to frame public commitments and planning and reporting against them. So maybe it’s time to …

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On Populism, Nationalism, Babies and Bathwater

Duncan Green - March 23, 2017

A couple of Oxfamers were over from the US recently so ODI kindly pulled together a seriously stimulating conversation about life, theuniverse and everything. More specifically, how should ‘we’ – the aid community broadly defined – respond to the rising tide of nationalism, populism, and attacks on aid. It was Chatham House rules, so I’ve already told you too much, but here are some of …

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Once every 20 years the UN focuses on cities, but the wrong people will be there

Duncan Green - September 28, 2016

Urbanization guru David Satterthwaite raises the curtain on next month’s big Habitat III conference.   Surprising though it may seem, I once got mistaken for the mayor of London. I was at a conference for mayors in Latin America and not realising the mistake, for half a day I had all the most prominent mayors greeting me like a brother and asking my advice. It …

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Will the Sustainable Development Goals make a difference on the ground? Lessons from a 5 country case study on the MDGs

Duncan Green - December 17, 2015

I’ve long been baffled/appalled by the lack of decent research on the impact of the MDGs at national level. Sure there’s lots of data gathering, and reports on how fast access to education or health is improving or poverty is falling, but that’s definitely not the same thing as finding out whether/how the MDGs in particular are responsible for the changes (rather than, say, economic …

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How will the SDGs differ from the MDGs?

Duncan Green - October 21, 2015

This piece, written with my Oxfam colleague Takumo Yamada, went up on the International Growth Centre blog earlier this week Will the SDGs be bigger, better and more universal than their predecessor, or a bafflingly complex mishmash of issues that fail to generate traction on decision making? They could go either way. Now that the list is finalised, most of the SDG circus will declare …

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Hello SDGs, what’s your theory of change?

Duncan Green - September 29, 2015

As Jed Bartlett would say, what’s next? Now the SDGs are official, there will be big discussions on financing and a geekfest on metrics and indicators. Both are important. But to my mind the big task is to collectively think through what the SDGs are meant to change and how they can best do so – in other words a theory(ies) of change. Here are …

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Some cautionary thoughts on this week’s SDGs summit

Duncan Green - September 22, 2015

The crescendo of discussion and debate over the successor to the Millennium Development Goals reaches its climax this weekend in New York, with the Sustainable Development Summit. The Guardian has a good scene setter. I’ve ploughed a contrarian furrow on the SDGs so far, so why stop now? Here are some things you might want to keep in mind over the next few days, with …

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Have the MDGs affected developing country policies and spending? Findings of new 50 country study.

Duncan Green - July 24, 2015

One of the many baffling aspects of the post-2015/Sustainable Development Goal process is how little research there has been on the impact of their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals. That may sound odd, given how often we hear ‘the MDGs are on/off track’ on poverty, health, education etc, but saying ‘the MDG for poverty reduction has been achieved five years ahead of schedule’ is not …

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The SDGs are just getting interesting – what needs to happen next to make them have impact?

Duncan Green - June 23, 2015

I spent a day in Madrid last week talking to Spanish aid wonks (it was cold and wet, in case you’re feeling jealous). One of the main topics of conversation was the post 2015 process, and it convinced me that I need to move on a bit from my previous rejection of the whole process as a waste of breath. We are where we are …

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Why 17 goals and 169 targets are not enough – your chance to vote

Duncan Green - June 4, 2015

Time for a little (non-Oxfam) contrarianism, and a new poll (see right). In September, the UN will agree the new framework for global development for the 15 years to 2030. This week the 43 page ‘zero draft of the outcome document‘ was published and the interwebs will rapidly fill with aid wonks and politicians scoffing at the ‘christmas tree’ of goals and targets  (17 of the former, breaking …

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