31.03.2015

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Meant well doesn’t always mean done well. The Sustainable Development Goals are all set to undermine themselves, Stephan Klasen maintains. The worst aspect is that people, who really ought to be at the focus, threaten to fall by the wayside in this technocratic maze of hundreds of goals, targets, and indicators.

This year marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will likely be the year where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), meant to shape the global agenda until 2030, will be concluded. The MDGs have left a sizable mark on the global development agenda. In particular, they helped to galvanise global action around addressing the worst aspects of human deprivation, including disease and mortality, lack of education and abject poverty. This, together with their being limited in number, was key to the success of the MDGs. Particularly the first seven goals rightly focused on central development outcomes and on people and the lives they aspire to live (with the 8th goal detailing some means to achieving these outcomes). They were linked closely to the capability approach and the associated concepts of human development and multidimensional poverty of the Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen.

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