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Domestic violence — overwhelmingly against women — is by far the most common form of violence in the world. About 350 million women across the planet have suffered severe physical violence from their intimate partner.
The UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals completed its outcome document a few weeks ago, putting forth 17 goals and 169 targets. The optimistic take: that’s only just over twice the number of goals in the Brazil-Germany World Cup match. But for all the space devoted to targeting almost every conceivable area of global progress, there was one topic on which the OWG was notably silent: what’s the purpose of all of this?
The World Bank is in the process of reforming its procurement system, the set of rules that borrowers have to follow when they use Bank financing to buy goods and services. Most of the proposals sound very sensible: much less “prior review” of the process for smaller contracts (World Bank staff looking over bid documents, evaluation reports, and contract documents before they are finalized); more flexibility to use other people’s procurement systems if they’re high quality; more flexibility to use quality alongside cost in evaluating bids in return for greater transparency.
With the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group busy in New York trying to whittle down its areas of interest into a plausible list of targets, two issues of ‘goal ownership’ have come to the fore. First, everyone seems very keen the goals should be universal but ‘country-owned’ — this is the excuse for all of the Xs in the High Level Panel Report (“Cover X% of people who are poor and vulnerable with social protection systems,” for example). Such Xs should be decided at the country level, they suggest.