Enabling poor rural people
to overcome poverty



The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The Millennium Development Goals - global targets that the world's leaders set at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 - are an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty - and its causes and manifestations. The goals include: Halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and gender equity, reducing under-five mortality and maternal mortality by two-thirds and three-quarters respectively, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and ensuring environmental sustainability. They also include the goal of developing a global partnership for development, with targets for aid, trade and debt relief.

During 2001, IFAD participated in selected high-level events, for instance the UN, World Bank, IMF and OECD Forum on the Millennium International Development Goals and Indicators on the Objectives of Halving Global Poverty by 2015. Representatives of developing countries, bilateral donors, the United Nations and its specialized agencies, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank gathered in March 2001 at the World Bank's headquarters for a seminar on the International Development Goals.

The seminar took stock of the progress made in establishing a common set of quantitative development objectives; exchanged views on the opportunities for and obstacles to reaching the goals; and laid the groundwork for further international cooperation. A follow up meeting on harmonizing reporting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the International Development Goals (IDGs) was held in New York in June 2001 to discuss the respective targets and selected relevant indicators, with a view to merging the two documents into a single set of Millennium Development Goals (see table below).

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked UNDP to be the "scorekeeper" and "campaign manager" for the Millennium Development Goals -- spreading awareness within the system and across the world and making them an integral part of the UN system's work in the field.

This year, the goals are a focus of three critical global conferences: the International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Monterrey, Mexico (March 2002), the World Food Summit: five years later in Rome (June 2002), and the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa (Aug/Sept 2002). At the WSSD, countries will map out a new agenda, laying out the strategies and partnerships needed to ensure progress towards the goals and other development objectives.

Are we reaching the goals?

The eight Millennium Development Goals comprise 18 targets and 48 indicators. Where possible, the targets are given as quantified, time-bound values for specific indicators. Data for the indicators come from official statistics and surveys conducted by countries and international agencies. Missing data and the lack of reliable statistics limit the ability to monitor progress.

According to the UNDP and the World Bank, progress towards the goals has been mixed. Some countries are on track for some goals but none of the goals are likely to be reached at the current rate of global progress. The reasons are many, but they often include insufficient and inefficient public spending, crippling debt burdens, inadequate market access in developed countries, and declining official development assistance.

UNDP and many partners, including other UN Development Group agencies and the World Bank, are already well underway with a number of pilots to lead country teams in monitoring and reporting on goals. The effort began with Tanzania last year, continued with Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad and Viet Nam, and additional reporting is expected soon from Albania, Bolivia, Nepal, the Philippines, Senegal and other countries.

By the end of 2004, every developing country will have produced at least one such report in time for the Secretary-General's global report on MDG progress in 2005. This is a major long-term commitment; it will likely require statistical capacity building in many countries.

Monitoring progress is easier for some targets than for others and good quality data for some indicators are not yet available for many countries. How many countries are likely to reach the Millennium Development Goals? Much depends on whether the progress in the past decade can be sustained-or accelerated in countries falling behind. According to the World Bank, too many countries are falling short of the goals or lack the data to monitor progress. This underscores the need to assist countries in building national capacity in compiling vital data.

MDG's Goals and Indicators

UNDP, in collaboration with national governments, is coordinating reporting by countries on progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals. The framework for reporting includes eight goals -- based on the UN Millennium Declaration. The eight goals represent a partnership between the developed countries and the developing countries determined, as the Millenium Declaration states, "to create an environment-at the national and global levels alike-which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty."

Support for reporting at the country level includes close consultation by UNDP with partners in the UN Development Group, other UN partners, the World Bank, IMF and OECD and regional groupings and experts. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs is coordinating reporting on progress towards the goals at the global.

Box 1. Millennium Declaration Goals (MDGs)
Goals and Targets Indicators
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
   
Target 1: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day

  1. Proportion of population below $1 per day
  2. Poverty gap ratio [incidence x depth of poverty]
  3. Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

  • Prevalence of underweight children (under-five years of age)
  • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
   
Target 3: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
  • Net enrolment ratio in primary education
  • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5
  • Literacy rate of 15-24 year olds
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
   
Target 4: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and to all levels of education no later than 2015

 

  • Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
  • Ratio of literate females to males of 15-24 year olds
  • Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
   
Target 5: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

  • Under-five mortality rate
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Proportion of 1 year old children immunized against measles
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
   
   
Target 6: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
  • Maternal mortality ratio
  • Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
   
Target 7: Have halted by 2015, and begun to reverse, the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • HIV prevalence among 15-24 year old pregnant women
  • Contraceptive prevalence rate
  • Number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS
Target 8: Have halted by 2015, and begun to reverse, the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

  • Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria
  • Proportion of population in malaria risk areas using effective malaria prevention and treatment measures
  • Prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis
  • Proportion of TB cases detected and cured under DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course)
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
   
Target 9: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
  • Proportion of land area covered by forest
  • Land area protected to maintain biological diversity
  • GDP per unit of energy use (as proxy for energy efficiency)
  • Carbon dioxide emissions (per capita)

    [Plus two figures of global atmospheric pollution: ozone depletion and the accumulation of global warming gases]
Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
  • Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source
Target 11: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
  • Proportion of people with access to improved sanitation
  • Proportion of people with access to secure tenure

    [Urban/rural disaggregation of several of the above indicators may be relevant for monitoring improvement in the lives of slum dwellers]
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development*
   
Target 12: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system that deals with a reduction in debt to sustainable levels. Includes a commitment to good governance, development, and poverty reduction – both nationally and internationally.

Some of the indicators listed below will be monitored separately for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Africa, landlocked countries and small island developing states.

Target 13: Address the Special Needs of the Least Developed Countries

Includes: tariff and quota free access for LDC exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for HIPC and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction.

 

Target 14: Address the Special Needs of landlocked countries and small island developing states

(through Barbados Programme and 22nd GA provisions)

Official Development Assistance

  • Net ODA as percentage of DAC donors’ GNI [targets of 0.7% in total and 0.15% for LDCs]
  • Proportion of ODA to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation)
  • Proportion of ODA that is untied
  • Proportion of ODA for environment in small island developing states
  • Proportion of ODA for transport sector in land-locked countries
Market Access
  • Proportion of exports (by value and excluding arms) admitted free of duties and quotas
  • Average tariffs and quotas on agricultural products and textiles and clothing
  • Domestic and export agricultural subsidies in OECD countries
  • Proportion of ODA provided to help build trade capacity
Debt Sustainability
  • Proportion of official bilateral HIPC debt cancelled
  • Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services
  • Proportion of ODA provided as debt relief
  • Number of countries reaching HIPC decision and completion points
Target 15: In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth.
  • Unemployment rate of 15-24 year olds
Target 16: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable medicines.
  • Proportion of population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis
Target 17: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.
  • Telephone lines per 1000 people
  • Personal computers per 1000 people