This is a joint post with Ross Thuotte.
The United Nations recently published the 2011 World Economic Situation and Prospects report, which asserts that Sub-Saharan Africa, and possibly parts of South Asia, are off-track for halving extreme poverty levels by 2015. This must sound alarmingly dire and discouraging for those laboring long and hard to reduce poverty rates in countries within these regions.
But this picture was painted by a highly simplistic brush. Despite doomsday generalizations, almost two-thirds of Sub-Saharan African countries are on-track (or nearly on-track) to halve poverty during the MDG period (1990-2015). A few of them – such as Ghana, Uganda, and Burkina Faso – are on the short-list of the highest-performing countries. These so-called MDG Trailblazers (both in Africa and beyond) are the subject of my recent CGD working paper.
Based on popular requests, we have launched a new interactive MDG web tool that visually represents each individual country’s progress towards the highly ambitious MDG targets.