Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Strange Bedfellows: The Politics of Penurious Poverty Lines (Part II)

The head of USAID claims that “political momentum” is building to make extreme poverty “central” to the development agenda.  The question is: How does one build political momentum for a global development agenda that excludes 5 billion people and the middle class of (nearly) every large developing country?

A Development Agenda without Developing Countries? The Politics of Penurious Poverty Lines (Part I)

“Dollar a day” poverty morphed from a technical curiosity that interests at most a few dozen technocrats to the first of the Millennium Development Goals. It is now one of only two corporate goals of the World Bank (in spite of its obvious inconsistency with the World Bank’s own Articles of Agreement).  And , according to a recent (August 18, 2014) missive from Rajiv Shah, the head of USAID “political momentum” is “build[ing] to make the end of extreme poverty central to the post-2015 Development Agenda.”

What’s the Point of the Post-2015 Agenda?

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?

Post 2015: Ownership in All the Wrong Places

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.