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Issue Debate #3: SDGs merely a change in nomenclature from Millennium Development Goals?

edited September 2015 in Issue Debates
Issue Debates Archives



Are The Sustainable Development Goals a mere change in nomenclature of Millennium Development Goals? How are they different? Critically examine the challenges in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Reading List:-
1. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/india-in-no-position-to-meet-sdgs/article7635080.ece
2. http://www.developmenteducationreview.com/issue20-viewpoint1

Comments

  • SDG refers to the sustainable development goals finalized in the rio+20 summit.They seek to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) after they expire in 2015.
    It is not merely a change in nomenclature as the SDG's move a step ahead and with objectives like eradicating poverty ,hunger,environment protection,Low IMR and MMR, it has also included bringing gender equality,reducing inequalities among the countries,fostering renewable energy potential, climate smart cities and enhanced cooperation among the nations.

    Thus SDG's are not merely a change in nomenclature rather the way ahead for future as only sustainable development would help in meeting the demands of the resources for future generations.It emphasizes on increasing the renewable energy base-solar,wind,geothermal and reducing emission levels by working in cooperation with each other like transfer of clean technology ,trading carbon credits and jointly implementing the required strategies for mitigating climate change- important part of SDGs also agreed upon by countries in Kyoto protocol.

    Many countries have failed in achieving their MDG targets,main reasons for this are,lack of resources,financial crunch and lack of cooperation among the countries which led to imbalanced development,with some countries like sri lanka,Bangladesh achieving the targets on the IMR and MMR front whereas countries like India,Pakistan were lagging behind.Thus enhanced global participation and reducing inequalities among countries would help in achieving the required targets mandated in SDG's.

    Also it would be a litmus test for the commitments made by the developed world in various climate talks,lima being the recent.Their emission targets would be having a direct bearing on sustainable development goals.

    Bring gender equality would help in empowering the women which would in turn help in increasing their participation in jobs and thus improving the production rates and GDP.

    Thus the SDG's are the way forward and an excellent vision to realize the goal of development and environment protection to its full potential by balancing between the needs of the developing world and developed world.
    " The more you sweat in peace , the less you bleed in war."
  • Nice @rattlesnake sir g.. Saying other way same thing...

    Why do we need another set of goals?

    There is broad agreement that, while the MDGs provided a focal point for governments – a framework around which they could develop policies and overseas aid programmes designed to end poverty and improve the lives of poor people – as well as a rallying point for NGOs to hold them to account, they were too narrow.

    The eight MDGs – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development. The goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. While the MDGs, in theory, applied to all countries, in reality they were considered targets for poor countries to achieve, with finance from wealthy states. Conversely, every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.

    For better understanding read this -

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations
    Being IAS... 4 U Onlyyy... :-)
  • @Yo_Yo_Choti_Singh much appreciated, Thanks!!

    On the critical side:
    *Gender equality- insensitivity of society towards related issues and patriarchal mindset.Can be changed through role of ngo's in creating awareness and enhanced funding on women's security and education- beti bachao beti padhao and nirbhaya fund.
    *Eradicating poverty and hunger- failure of pds,no tangible benefits from mgnrega in maximum areas and issues like corruption have plagued the country.Improving funding,direct cash transfers and providing employment by skill developing them.
    " The more you sweat in peace , the less you bleed in war."
  • Challanges or problems of SDGs-

    1) Sea of Targets and indicators -17/169-unmanageable,distorting focus- should be lesser!!

    2) Lack of F3- Funds, Functions and Functionaries-Addis Ababa Action Agreement (AAAA) not adequate!!

    3) Lack of Accountability ensuring mechanisms- will falter like MDGs!!

    4) No special targetting of People in Conflict Zones - syria etc special efforts desirable

    Etc etc :-)

    Being IAS... 4 U Onlyyy... :-)
  • SDGs are set of targets covering numerous socio economic indicators meant to replace MDGs after they expire in 2015. On textual analysis, a few more indicators have been added with greater emphasis on environment, justice and other emerging criterions of development.

    However, for India, party to both goals, it seems that they will be as empty as the previous ones. There are various reasons for it:

    1. India has not achieved universal primary enrollment till now.
    2. Gender empowerment in terms of labour participation is dismal. The patriarchal tendency of the Indian society does not seem to diminish, inspite of the economic development.
    3.The nature of Indian politics is such that no accountability can be fixed for the non achievement of these goals. The narrative of Indian politics is largely casteist and communal in most of the underdeveloped areas.
    4.India's post liberalised era development is mostly resource dependent, which sees deprivation among tribals and the service sector led growth is not inclusive enough.
    5. Even, the latest thrust on Make in India has huge planning and administrative gaps like focus on registered manufacturing which requires only skilled workforce.
    6. Reduction in health and social sector budget e.g. reduction in ICDS.

    To make SDGs successful, efforts are required both at national and international level. Some sort of legal commitment needs to be there like in Kyoto protocol. At the national level, greater commitment at political level is required. Finance Commission can make some of the targets as its variables for fixing the amount of funds to be transferred.
  • exhaustive coverage of points...the objective of inclusive growth can also be included.
  • At the outset SDGs seem to be a mere extension of MDGs.But MDGs were a mere framework while SDGs are very elaborate. They have included new areas like equality among nations, justice,infrastructure development, renewable energy etc.,
    On the critical side,there are too many targets which will be very difficult to implement and monitor.Further there lies the big question of funding.Even though MDGs had limited goals it was not achieved. Same will be for SDGs.But if implemented properly SDGs are a boon for an inclusive and sustainable development of the whole world.
  • Sustainable Development goals is new set of universal targets set to replce the MDG targets that are expiring in 2015.

    Though SDG and MDG has many overlapping targets like reduction of poverty of all forms, women empowerment etc but there are certain basic differences between SDGs and MDGs
    1. With 17 goals and 169 targets SDGs are much broader than MDGs in their thrust areas.
    2. While in theory MDGs were applicable to all countries in practice they were considered targets of developing and the poor countries only. However SDGs with the thrust on sustainability are also set as target to the development.
    3. MDGs failed to target the root cause of poverty they overlooked human rights and equality and did not specifically mentioned economic development.

    Thus SDGs not just seeks to change the nomenclature but expands the MDGs further to a new set of goals along with the component of sustainability.

    Roadblocks to achieve the SDGs
    1. Lack of resources especially with regard to developing and poor countries many of whom have missed the MDG targets.
    2. Too many goals may become unwieldy. The goals related to environment have been a reason for some countries specially the developing ones.
    3. The indicators to measure these goals are still to be finalized.
    4. SDGs require a huge funding which may not be easily available.

    Thus to realize the SDGs commitment and cooperation is required between the developing and developed nation to come to an agreement on enablers such as funding, technology transfer and binding environment commitments.
  • With the end of the year 2015, the 8 MDGs will also come to an end. A new set of goals that can guide the governments and civil societies around the world to frame policies and make them accountable to the citizenry is necessary. The Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 are right steps in this regard. The only way to intergenerational parity is through the sustainable development.
    With 17 goals and 169 indicators, few of them are natural extension of the MDGs but these new ones also target the structural causes of poverty and inequality. Specific SDGs targeting terrestrial and marine ecosystems are also advancement on broader term of “environmental sustainability”. Moreover, disaster management components like resilient infrastructure, sustainable consumption, and innovative and cleaner energy techniques are more indicative of the present global requirements. Thus, the SDGs are not mere change in the nomenclature.
    Notwithstanding that the idea of having goals is novel and necessary there are many challenges that need to be addressed. Lack of funds and proper strategy to meet the goals are major ones. Also, the task to administer and monitor the 169 indicators is uphill in itself and might move the focus from purpose to the process. It is on this account that few countries like U.K. and Japan have shown apprehension. The recent geopolitical events in Europe and Middle East also show lacunae of global partnership which might lead to imbalanced development.
    Once the challenges are addressed and implemented SDGs are way for holistic development.
    Do you bleed? You will.
  • Changing GOAL POST with changing time ..........
    Go Back To School
  • SDG-'The future we want' that is futuristic and proactive ideology for current and genNext.
    MDG-Human capital, Human infrastructure, Human rights with the intent of increasing living standards. That is mostly humanitarian with maximum focus on 'Human'.However SDG is more holistic, practical and inclusive, action oriented with muli-lateral goals and parameters fulfilling aspirations of both worlds.
    Inspire of all these goals and monitoring, its impact will be truly inclusive if only values like equity, CBDR, socio-cultural, tolerance, nonviolence in all forms, justice and above all peace for all are incorporated in various international policies.
    Frustrated soul! Life is full of trial and error.
  • MDGs were concerned about getting to half way. For Eg reducing poverty by half. While SDGs aim to achieve them completely. Hence, MDGs encouraged countries to do the easiest part first while SDGs will need more comprehensive approach to include all the sections of the populations in achieving them.
  • One basic difference between the SDGs and MDGs that I would like to add is the applicability of the SDGs. While MDGs were meant mainly for the the developing or the least developed countries,many goals in the SDGs are meant for everyone. The universality of the SDGs would see better adoption by the countries because
    1.) The goals were decided upon after collaboration and intense research and surveys. The MDGs on the other hand were formulated behind closed doors with lack of participation of the countries which were actually supposed to implement them. There is no denying the fact that better involvement in the goal formulation leads to better implementation.
    2.) The second issue is seriousness. The success of any endeavour depends upon its adoption and the best method to make someone adopt something is by practicing what you preach .The MDG's were seen by many countries as forced agendas imposed by developed world. But SDGs talk about goals like climate change which are applicable to all and more so to the developed world than the developing and least developed. Adoption of such goals places everyone on a equal footing and would send a positive message about the seriousness of the developed world in making the world a better place for everyone. Agreeing to Technology transfer in renewable energy production would send a strong message that the developed world is ready to walk the talk.
    3.) Needless to say, globalization has made us more aware and better connected. The problems faced in implementation in one country can be used as lessons for the others, thus leading to better implementation.

    Problem for India.
    India hasn't had much success with the MDGs or the success has been lacklustre to say the least but we are nowhere near what we were, when we started.
    If we want to ensure a better success with the MDGs, a carefully laid out plan and a look at already doing on welfare initiatives is a must.
    The first step towards implementation of the goals would be the develop indicators to track some of these goals as we have none till now. Data Collection would also have to begin as early as possible if we want to ascertain the progress we will make.
    Some of the goals like woman empowerment need a change in the parochial thinking and the timeline for such goals is too short for that.

    But there is also a silver lining, we are a welfare state and most if not all of the SDGs go hand in hand with out directive principles which ensure constitutional support to them. Also the problems of the past, will help us avoid mistakes which the countries implementing such goals for the first time will make.




    I am sorry I haven't written answers before. So guidance on what I can do to make my writing better would be really appreciated. I can take the criticism, so please don't worry about being rude.
  • 1-SDG has derived it goal by MDG only and the main reason of doing so, is MDG deadline is goint to end by 2015.
    2- SDG has better dimensions to overcome by poverty, environment hazards and son on.
    3- SDG invloves Rio+20 and Kyoto protocol to overcome the goals.
  • Nice @rattlesnake sir g.. Saying other way same thing...

    Why do we need another set of goals?

    There is broad agreement that, while the MDGs provided a focal point for governments – a framework around which they could develop policies and overseas aid programmes designed to end poverty and improve the lives of poor people – as well as a rallying point for NGOs to hold them to account, they were too narrow.

    The eight MDGs – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development. The goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. While the MDGs, in theory, applied to all countries, in reality they were considered targets for poor countries to achieve, with finance from wealthy states. Conversely, every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.

    For better understanding read this -

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations
    I have not read on this fully, but don't you think that in MDGs we ( developing nations ) escaped the burden of meeting targets ( so did developed countries, because people just walked out of it, without evaluating how they had faired on their emission cutting targets , but we did not have any targets as such )

    With the new SDGs, the developing nations such as ours will have to bear the economic burden of environmental sustainability overlooking the common but differentiated responsibility principle?

    SDGs are not going to be the best deal for us, eventually.

    Again, i haven't read in it fully.

    *No good deed goes unpunished*
  • Though the SDGs represent some significant changes from the previous MDGs, they do not go far enough to constitute a newer, evolved phase in development. Highlighted below are some achievements and failures of the new goals.


    Departure from MDGs -> evolution of goals:

    1. Vocabulary of development has advanced since turn of millennium, when the MDGs came into action. Thus we see the emphasis of sustainability (a relatively recent concept) in the SDGs
    2. Unprecedented scale of exercise of opinion-gathering in order to decide what the SDGs should be
    3. Inclusion of some goals that were previously not included: overlooked gender inequality, no mention of human rights
    4. Able to encompass a holistic nature of development that has evolved over the past decade. Thus they are less narrow than the MDGs


    Key Challenges and Limitations:

    1. Vocabulary has evolved but methods have not. Lofty ideals do not substitute for concrete plans on how to bring change at grassroots level
    2. Process is beset with same problems as before - most notably, about how to finance these SDGs. The failure of the Addis Ababa conference in July shows that we have not made any major breakthroughs on the principles governing international developmental finance and have yet to meet the inadequate volume of funds required to achieve the targets set out.


    Thus, while SDGs make some welcome developments over the MDGs, they do not involve a dramatic change in paradigm, and do not offer any revolutionising insights into the principles or practice of development.

  • In my opinion, SDGs are not just a change in nomenclature from MDGs.
    SDGs and MDGs give us a classic case of policy evolution and to study the difference, let us break down the case in point into three parts: Intention, Formulation and Execution.
    1. Intention: If one goes into the fons de origo of these development goals, it can be seen that the goals were staggered in a Maslowian hierarchy so as to achieve them in a time-bound manner and the same time making sure that the world moves towards sustainable prosperity. The initial MDGs which were supposed to be achieved by 2015 focused primarily on the physiological needs and health (safety) needs and eventually go into higher levels of development in the subsequent versions of development goals that is the SDGs. This is the reason why the goals are more inclined towards the Developing as well as the Least Developing Countries. But the problem with MDGs is that it also suffered from ailment of over-simplicity like that of Maslow’s pyramid. It had a very linear view of development goals and it never appreciated that goals like removal of poverty and hunger can be impacted by violation of human rights. In a recent bestseller “the locust effect”, the author Gary Haugen has captured beautifully how in an unequal world, the rich and the influential use violence as a tool to perpetuate the misery of the poor and the downtrodden and how the judicial institutions are made inaccessible to the poor (Goals 11 and 16 of the SDGs try to address these issues to some extent). Such a multi-dimensional view about development was missing in MDGs, one of the key reasons why the MDGs were fared ordinarily (though not a complete success, it was not a complete failure either). Besides, the multidimensionality factor, another reason why a new set of development goals are needed is the exigent nature of climate change. Many scientists have concurred that 2030 is the year of climactic tipping point. Bearing that in mind, the UN along with global leaders have identified a set of goals that have direct or indirect impact on sustainability. Hence, one can see a larger set of goals (17) than that of MDGs (8). Yes, because of the missed deadlines in MDGs, there is a little bit of baggage in terms of overlapping goals. But in no sense are the goals just a copy of the erstwhile MDGs.
    2. Formulation: Unlike the formulation of MDGs which were done with the closed door of the UN headquarters, the SDGs were formulated using a more participatory approach. Though the adequacy of such participation is debatable, it is still the largest consultation programme in UN’s history to obtain details on what the SDGs should include. The UN used the open working group discussions (70 countries) and global conversations (83 countries + 11 thematic consultations) along with door to door and online survey (my world survey) to prioritize the areas which needed to be handles in these goals. So in their very essence, these goals are more democratic than the MDGs.
    3. Execution: Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs are highly detailed. The goals are further divided into 169 targets. While some critics think that it makes the goals too bulky and overwhelming, I believed that the more detailed the goals, the easier it would be to identify the devil. Besides, if the targets are clustered and clubbed for an intelligent delegation to the global agencies, then it is possible to implement and achieve all the 169 targets (which may sound overly optimistic given the results achieved as against the MDGs).
    The SDGs have acknowledged the fact, in the view of lack of sources of new money, the govt should streamline the tax systems and make sure that the nuisance of tax evasions and black money are successfully tackled so that the recovered money can be re-utilized to generate funds for achieving SDGs. Obviously these goals are extremely aspirational given the current institutional set-up. But desperate times call for desperate action. So the onus is upon that national governments to pledge adequately and at the same time ensure that an environment of sustained international cooperation is there to help accomplish the SDGs. Since the SDGs are meant for all countries (applicable to both developed countries and developing countries), the SDGs will required a lot of tactful initiatives to keep all the players at the table. But under no condition, the principles of CBDR and historical responsibility be diluted as these are salient to ensure greater equality in future.
  • Nice @rattlesnake sir g.. Saying other way same thing...

    Why do we need another set of goals?

    There is broad agreement that, while the MDGs provided a focal point for governments – a framework around which they could develop policies and overseas aid programmes designed to end poverty and improve the lives of poor people – as well as a rallying point for NGOs to hold them to account, they were too narrow.

    The eight MDGs – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development. The goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. While the MDGs, in theory, applied to all countries, in reality they were considered targets for poor countries to achieve, with finance from wealthy states. Conversely, every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.

    For better understanding read this -

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations
    I have not read on this fully, but don't you think that in MDGs we ( developing nations ) escaped the burden of meeting targets ( so did developed countries, because people just walked out of it, without evaluating how they had faired on their emission cutting targets , but we did not have any targets as such )

    With the new SDGs, the developing nations such as ours will have to bear the economic burden of environmental sustainability overlooking the common but differentiated responsibility principle?

    SDGs are not going to be the best deal for us, eventually.

    Again, i haven't read in it fully.

    Nice @rattlesnake sir g.. Saying other way same thing...

    Why do we need another set of goals?

    There is broad agreement that, while the MDGs provided a focal point for governments – a framework around which they could develop policies and overseas aid programmes designed to end poverty and improve the lives of poor people – as well as a rallying point for NGOs to hold them to account, they were too narrow.

    The eight MDGs – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development. The goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. While the MDGs, in theory, applied to all countries, in reality they were considered targets for poor countries to achieve, with finance from wealthy states. Conversely, every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.

    For better understanding read this -

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations
    I have not read on this fully, but don't you think that in MDGs we ( developing nations ) escaped the burden of meeting targets ( so did developed countries, because people just walked out of it, without evaluating how they had faired on their emission cutting targets , but we did not have any targets as such )

    With the new SDGs, the developing nations such as ours will have to bear the economic burden of environmental sustainability overlooking the common but differentiated responsibility principle?

    SDGs are not going to be the best deal for us, eventually.

    Again, i haven't read in it fully.

    Hi, but I think the principles of CBDR and historical responsibility have to be adhered to. If nothing the developed countries would have to provide the technology for non-conventional energy as the developing countries try to reduce their emissions. This has to happen to maintain growth levels in developing countries and this would in turn ensure the achievement of goal 10 of SDGs which looks at establishing equality among countries.

  • SDGs are broadly classified under country's decided goals about sustainable development, whereas MDGs are categorised globally. These goals are set as per bringing the development by uplifting the root cause of poverty and unequity. These SDGs could become a kind of nomenclature in MDGs as they share the same goal. But if we look at their perspectives, then variation occurs in their course of action.
    SDGs could be accomplished more easily, so they seem realistic and achievable, whereas MDGs couldnt as they cover a long term process.
    The challenges in meeting the SDGs are variously classified according to sociological perception, as it could be a mere adherence of countries to their beneficiary treaties, or their consumption of their resources judiciously. Allocation of funds for SDGs fulfillment may hinder the procedure, whereas eradication of the root causes of hindrance of SDGs like poverty, unsustainable living, unequity, jeopardization of natural resources, etc...should be done advancely, at the global level by inclusion of all.
    Successful@me
  • Criticism of SDG can be:-
    1. galore of goals
    2. does not have a sound feedback or appraisal mechanism
    3. Does not mention basic problems of food security, terrorism, migrant issues or plight of stateless people. etc etc

    On the other hand good points about SDG are:
    1. shares responsibility among all nation and not only developing and underdeveloped nations.
    2. puts onus on developed nation to walk the talk by fullfilling commitments made on green energy, sustainable development, efforts to erradicate gender discrimination etc.
    3. renewed focus on clean and renewable energy which was missing in MDG
    I am the PHOeNiX
  • Go Back To School
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