More Money or More Development: What Have the MDGs Achieved?
Type of work: Working Paper
What have the MDGs achieved? And what might their achievements mean for any second generation of MDGs or MDGs 2.0? We argue that the MDGs may have played a role in increasing aid and that development policies beyond aid quantity have seen some limited improvement in rich countries (the evidence on policy change in poor countries is weaker). Further, there is some evidence of faster-than-expected progress improving quality of life in developing countries since the Millennium Declaration, but the contribution of the MDGs themselves in speeding that progress is—of course—difficult to demonstrate even assuming the MDGs induced policy changes after 2002. The paper concludes with reflections on what the experience of MDGs in terms of global goal setting has taught us and how things might be done differently if there were to be a new set of MDGs after 2015. Any MDGs 2.0 need targets that are set realistically and directly link aid flows to social policy change and to results.