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The Millennium Development Challenge Ch 7., Greig et al.

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1 The Millennium Development Challenge Ch 7., Greig et al

2 Past half-century has been both the best and worst of times, depending on how the evidence is assessed. The postwar period can be viewed as an era of remarkable achievement in human progress, in which technological innovation flourished, global commerce expanded significantly and a lower proportion of the world’s population than ever before lived in poverty. Others however claimed that global development has been a failure. Problem of overcoming poverty and inequality remain.

3 Setting Development Goals for the New Millennium At the UN Millennium Summit (Sept 2000) the leaders committed their governments to a Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Reduce extreme poverty by half Education (increase participation in basic education) Improve child and maternal health Gender equality Control diseases Agricultural productivity Safe water Environmental sustainability Establish global partnership for development See Box 7.1, pp

4 Millenium Declaration was a bold move by the United Nations. Quantifiable targets by 2015 Human well-being and poverty reduction are new goals A ‘compact’ between richer and poorer countries The poorer countries are responsible for providing the appropriate Policy context for development (including good governance, sound economic decision-making, transparency, accountability, rule of law, respect for human rights and civil liberties and local participation) The richer countries will commit themselves to meeting its aid obligations in a timely, generous and coordinated manner while simultaneously renegotiating debt relief and abolishing discriminatory trade restrictions against the poorer world. Goals: a shift away from the more market-oriented policies that the IMF and the World Bank had favoured during the previous two decades. The IFI’s growth strategies began with calculations of what was achievable under existing fiscal, pyshical capital and human capital possibilities and assumed that development would be achieved at a pace dictated by prevailing constraints. However the MDGs overcame these constraints by adopting a more teleological (or goal-oriented) approach to planning the development process.

5 The MDGs could be accepted by both the optimists who believed that global development was within reach and pessimists who claimed that development has failed. What draws optimistic and more pessimistic assesments towards the Millenium Project is the urgency through which the moral imperative of development is expressed, and the clear definition of measurable targets, stated deadlines, required inputs and expected outputs. The MDGs are based not only on the vast scale of the problem of poverty and inequality facing the world in the new millenium, but also on a recognition of the significant improvements in the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people over the past decades. See progress globally: p But also see the growing inequality (Box 7.2, p. 135 China example) Despite benefits and achievements in overall development, the MDG framework draws attention to the fact that growth is ‘bypassing hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people’. Despite advances, the poorer nations continue to lag behind.

6 Cost of reaching MDGs is within reach of the world community. This would involve kick-starting economic growth forms of public spending that will encourage private investment and simultaneously increase human development. *At first glance, it appears that the MDGs are poverty-focused, and they are explicitly expressed in this way. However they also demand an attack on widening inequalities. The UN Millenium Declaration not only committed the world community to eradicating poverty, but also to promote ‘human dignity, equality, and achieve peace, democracy and environmental sustainability’. We will start with an examination of three elements of well-being central to the MDGs- income, education and health.

7 The MDG Challenges Problem of statistics and reassessing goals over time Well-being and other goals are not as easy as to measure as GDP or conventional measures

8 Improve Well being Much of the success in poverty alleviation over the past 20 years has been mainly due to the striking developmental successes of China and India, with a combined population of 38 per cent of the world’s population. Yet, in some parts of the world more people are falling into poverty. Over the 1990s, poverty increased by eight million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, 14 million in Europe and Central Asia and 82 million in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hunger. In poorer countries, some 800 million people live in persistent hunger and 75 per cent of these people live in rural areas. Life expectancy fell Falling incomes and HIV/AIDs were among the principal causes behind declining HDI scores. Access to electricity- only provided to two-thirds of the world’s population Education- enrolments remain lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Some 115 million still do not attend primary school, and 60 per cent of these are girls. -Health(improved health is a core indicator of human development). It is also a key -İnvestment in economic development, increasing worksforce productivity and encouraging foreign direct investment. Even though people in poorer countries experience worse health than those in wealthier countries, their governments spend so little on health expenditure as a percentage of GDP. On a per capita basis this translates to US$1356 in high income countries, US$ 125 in upper-middle income countries, US$13 in low income countries and US$6 in the poorest.

9 Regional perspectives East Asia and the Pacific: East Asia success story of the recent global development, despite experiencing a traumatic financial crisis during Percentage of people living below US$1 a day declined from 58 per cent in 1981 to 15.6 per cent in Hunger declined over the 1990s by 6 per cent Rural poverty declined in East Asia between 1990 and 2001 from 30 per cent to 11 per cent. China: achieved growth rates of 9 percent per annum during the 1990s.Yet higher incidence of urban poverty, increasing infant mortality in some areas. Enormous disparities. Less impressive economic and human development performances in the region include the Phillipines, Myanmar, Mongolia and Cambodia.

10 South Asia: experienced marked progress across most HDI indicators over the past few decades, although some countries (Bangladesh and Bhutan) experienced faster growth and others slower growth (Pakistan). Indian development varied by state, with some growing much faster than others, and nationally the proportion living in poverty dropped from 42 per cent to 35 per cent in just eight years up to However, the gap in living standards between rural and urban areas widened. Some states within India have made tremendous economic and social progress while others are economically stagnant. Similar situation was found in Nepal where life expectancy can vary by more than 12 years depending on caste status. Sri Lanka has made progress towards the MDGs, especially through high levels of primary school enrolment, low child mortality rates, low maternal mortality rates and improved water and sanitation. Overall, throughout the region, the percentage of people living on US$1 a day fell from 45 per cent to 36.6 per cent during the 1990s. One in three live in poverty and lack access to better sanitation, one in four go hungry, one in five children do not attend primary school, and nearly one in ten die before the age of five.

11 Sub-Saharan Africa: this region as a whole has experienced stagnation over the past 20 years, both in terms of economic growth and human development. *Probably the most unequal continent, “most of the region” is on a trajectory to miss most or all of the Goals. The region’s share of world trade has declined from 6 per cent in 1980 to under 2 per cent by the new millenium. Overall, during the 1990s the number of people living below US$ 1 a day increased from 47.4 per cent to 49 per cent, and 77 per cent survive on less than US$ 2 a day. One person in three lives in hunger, while one in six dies before the age of five. On average, Africans can expect to live only to the age of 46, and that figure is dropping. The UN and aid donors can point to a number of success stories, such as Ghana, Mozambique and Benin, which have been able to improve health and/or education indicators. Total numbers of primary scgool enrolments across Africa almost doubled. Improved governance has also been noted in a few instances, but in itself, has been insufficient to alleviate poverty and meet developmental objectives.

12 Latin America and the Caribbean Over the past few decades, Latin America has been able to achieve HDI indicators that approach those of the OECD nations and it boasts the highest average per capita incomes in the poorer world. Yet 1990s were characterized by sluggis economic performance. The region Continues to rely on primary commodity exports that face declining long-term relative prices and its manifacturing export successes are concentrated in a limited number of countries, mainly Mexico and Brazil. During the 1990s, the percentage of people living on less than US$ 1 a day remained stable, increasing marginally by 0.1 per cent to 11 per cent. During the decade, East Asia outperformed Latin America despite a starting point. Progress varied considerably by country, with some experiencing greater hunger (such as Cuba) and others reduced hunger (such as Peru) and reduced child mortality (Bolivia and Ecuador).

13 Central and Eastern Europe Most post-communist states suffered from transition to market economies with regional poverty tripling to include one in four people.The number of people living on less than US $1 a day jumped markedly from 6.8 per cent to 20.3 per cent. The region has experienced an increase in child mortality, and life expectancy has dropped in certain countries, including Russia. Eastern European countries experiencing higher levels of economic and human development, partly assisted by proximity to western European markets. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Uzbekistan global least-developed countries.

14 The Middle East and North Africa Many Arab countries have been placed in a unique development category due to their high levels of dependence on oil, which remains a high-demand commodity in the global economy. However, control over this resource by a few wealthy families creates disparities in income and human development progress unique in global statistics. The share of people in Arab states living on less than US$ 1 a day rose marginally by 0. 1 per cent to 2.2 per cent. Performance varied throughout the region with some countries (such as Lebanon and Tunisia) experiencing sustained economic growth while many stagnated. Some countries (such as Kuwait) reduced their proportion of hungry children while others (for example Yemen) witnessed an increase. Other experienced dramatically higher child mortality rates (such as Iraq) while others achieved a reduction (Egypt). On the whole, however, child mortality rates worsened compared to the richer countries.

15 Assessing the MDGs as a Developmental Strategy Mixed development results influnced MDGs Supposed technocratic nature of MDGs (important MDGs such as health become disconnected from the broader social and political contexts including globalization and poverty reduction. Structuralists think that MDGs gloss over the role of IMF in persistent poverty Neoliberals feel that trade, not aid is the answer But there are also defenders of the MDGs approach who consider them an ‘important frame of reference’ for building a more ‘decent’ and ‘fairer’ world. An important part of the MDG framework is the responsibility of richer countries to improve the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) (refers to grants and loans to poorer countries from governments of richer countries. P

16 The MDGs and Neoliberalism UN Millennium Project is at odds with various tenets of neoliberalism Achieving the MDGs will require more than implementing policies of liberalization. It will involve recognizing that ‘structural constraints’ exist that ‘impede economic growth and human development’ While encouraging private investment, the UN Millenium Project maintains that sustained growth demands public spending in social services and infrastructure, research, housing and environmental regulation. Market mechanism is not designed to cater for the needs of the poor, but rather maximize returns on investment. Public intervention and subsidies are needed to lift poor communities out of poverty and strengthen their participation in the market.

17 The MDGs and modernization theory UNDP incorporates various aspects of modernization paradigm but also acknowledges role of exogenous factors

18 The MDGs and dependency theory Discussion of ‘structural constraints’ makes part of MDGs closer to structuralist views But rejects isolationism Criticism of OECD countries for continuing to place tariffs on manufactured goods from the poorer countries at four times the level of those from other wealthy countries. Rich country protectionsim continues to discriminate against the product sectors in which poorer countries have a competitive advantage, such as agriculture and labour-intensive manufacturing. UNDP comes closest to dependency theory paradigm

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