February 27, 2014
Robertson “MDGs and education”
• Previous ideological differences between multilateral agencies in development have
decreased and this compromise allows them to target one priority; poverty reduction.
o Shift from GDP focus toward UNDPs Human Development Index
New debate about poverty took hold to make this possible; allows the
right to claim that market-oriented policies aren’t inimical to the poor while
the left can ring back redistribution and social justice.
Still, there is discrepancy; UN agencies speak in terms of inequality while
BWI speaks of poverty—the latter frame the problem as a structural issue
while the former think the problem is of individuals not well-adapted to the
o Continued commitment to export-led development.
o However, until 1990s, primary responsibility for fighting poverty rested with the
developing country themselves, in their governments and citizens.
OECD’s paper set the agenda as the first attempt to put together int.
development goals in the form of targets.
Contains clear specification of the risks and promises presented by
globalisation and the need to meet the challenges implied by poverty and
inequality at the global level.
Talks about power relations between donors and developing countries.
Reveals considerable history concealed in the emergence and
specification of the MDGs.
o It is argued that the MDG is different from other approaches; although goals and
targets are more political than technically determined.
o They represent the confluence of a number of different streams emerging into a
post 9.11 world; has stimulated fresh and radical rethinking of the purposes,
strategies, funding, and delivery of aid.
• International consensus on tackling poverty reduction;
o MDGs are seen as a major step forward but also sometimes seen as a step
sideways due to the minimal scope or a step backwards because it doesn’t cover
human rights and other areas as targets.
o They project different paradigms of development. o Different views of their relevance.
o Set on assumptions that the trends from the 1970s and 1980s would continue
until 2015, leaving out the impact of HIV/AIDS.
o Set up by IMF and WB as a means of ensuring aid was more efficient in
o Made compulsive as countries required to ‘sign up’ for PRSPs in order to apply
for financial aid from either organisation.
o Five core principles;
Comprehensive in recognising multinational nature of poverty
o Based on;
Comprehensive poverty diagnostics
Priorities for macro, structural, and social policies
Appropriate targets, indicators, and systems
o However, t