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Date: 2023-12-08 Page is: DBtxt003.php L0700-MG-MDGs
MANAGEMENT METRICS
UN MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs)
The United Nations prepared these for the period 2000 to 2015
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Peter Burgess COMMENTARY
When the MDGs were developed by the UN at the turn of the millenium, I was encouraged by the idea that the UN was going to embrace management metrics more than they had before that. My hopes were, however, misplaced because the structure of the decision framework for big international issues simply won't work unless it is founded on some serious management analysis ... and at that time, this was nowhere to be seen.

I made 'presentations' about management metrics at a high level in both the World Bank and the United Nations during the 1980s and 1990s when I was a lot younger than I am now ... but these presentations were totally ineffective. When I made a presentation about 'Responsibility Accounting' in the Office of the Administator of UNDP in the 1990s, one of my professional colleagues who worked in the organazation reminded me that the UN did not embrace either 'responsibilty' or 'accountability' and my presentation had essentially been a complete waste of time.

He was right ... but it was worth trying.

Several years before this I was a part of an French 'audit team' reviewing some of the management and accounting procedures of the UN in New York. (I think this was around 1985). I was 'blown away' by the managerial incompetence of a lot of the senior people in the UN at the time, and while it has certainly changed since that time it has probably become even worse in terms of achieving progress towards a desired objective. Development has got to be a lot more than achieving a certain level of media attention!

My 'take' on the 8 MDGs of 2000 is that there were too many. I would have recommended a social goal, and environmental goal and an economic goal ... three goals not eight at this top level.

Within these three top level goals there can be many subsiduary operating goals.

MDG 1 which is to ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY is a laudable goal ... but HOW? From a management perspective this goal is part of the SOCIAL dimension but the actions needed to achieve this goal are further down the operational management hierarchy. There are many ways to have less extreme oiverty ... and it does not matter very much which one is used as long as there is some sort of action to improve the state of poverty.

MDG 2 which is to ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION is another laudable goal. Yes ... better education is needed and this should be part of development implementation. Like the POVERTY ERADICATION goal, BETTER EDUCATION is another part of a desirable SOCIAL improvement.

MDG 3 which is to to PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN is a rather 'fuzzy' goal, but a very good idea as a 'way' to achieve a better society.

MDGs 4 to 6 ... REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY ... IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH ... COMBAT HIV-AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES are all desirable SOCIAL GOALS associated with HEALTH

MDG 7 ... ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY is a broad goal absoultely in line with the TVM environmental goals

MDG 8 ... GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT is not really a goal, but merely recognition that DEVELoPMENT needs to be supported by the totality of the community of nations.

Net net the 8 MDGs have one goal (#7) that is about the environment, one goal (#8) that is about collaboration and not really a goal with the rest ... some 6 goals being various aspects of social progress with HEALTH (MDG# 4,5 & 6), and EDUCATION (MDG #2) clearly important and the other MDGs ... reducing EXTREME POVERTY (MDG#1) and addressing GENDER INEQUALITY (MDG#3) to be appropriate supporting activities.

Bottom line ... the MDGs of 2000 were better than nothing, but really not very good. It does not come as a surprise that after 15 years, the UN experts sought to have something better. Sadly the outcome ... the Suystainability Development Goals (SDGs) of 2015 were even worse!
Peter Burgess
ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER
ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION
PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN
REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY
IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH
COMBAT HIV-AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES
ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT
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SDGs - SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
More information about the SDGs
Includes description of the goals, and the related targets and indicators.
Open L0700-MG-SDGs
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