Posts Tagged ‘development agenda’

The Sustainable Development Goals and Laudato Si’

September 17, 2015

Next week, world leaders at the UN will formally adopt 17 new Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty, tackling inequality and taking action on climate change as part of wide-ranging commitments to sustainable development.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis released Laudato Si’, an encyclical on integral human development which adds to the Catholic Church’s body of teaching. Laudato Si’ is unique in its intention to influence international politics and the multilateral agreements they produce. As a major UN outcome, how do the SDGs meet the challenge set by Laudato Si’?


Can we reach a principled approach to public-private finance?

April 10, 2015

In a year of major UN Summits on development finance, sustainable development goals (SDGs) and climate change, the topic that has dominated the discussions has been on the role of the private sector and the finance that it can provide and finance that can be channelled through it.

This is clearly controversial with some groups arguing that no development finance should go through the private sector, while others see it as the panacea to “crowd-in” as much private sector involvement as possible.

Whichever side you’re on (or somewhere in the middle), one thing is clear – that the role of the private sector is likely to increase significantly in all forms of development in the forthcoming years, and certainly within the lifetime of the new SDGs.


Welcome to the Data Revolution Advisory Group – but will it be a revolution driven by people?

September 10, 2014

A warm welcome to Ban Ki-Moon’s new independent expert advisory group on the data revolution. While the data revolution conversation has been bubbling away over the last year, it’s been difficult to see how it will be brought into the official post-2015 process. With the announcement of the expert group, that missing piece of the puzzle has become clearer. The group will be tasked to input to the UN SG’s much anticipated Synthesis Report, providing input into the fourth chapter on the accountability framework (the other three covering the background, goals and targets proposed by the OWG, and financing).

Benita, 4 years old, from Ruyenzi, Rwanda uses a phone

Benita, 4 years old, from Ruyenzi, Rwanda using a mobile. How will her voice be heard in the data revolution?

So far, so good. But looking at the press release, a couple of questions occurred to me. As I’ve previously pointed out, the data revolution is in danger of missing out on the key constituency who are meant to benefit most from the collective endeavour to create a global development agenda: the very people who on a daily-basis experience poverty, injustice, discrimination and exclusion. Yet reading through the list I failed to spot anyone who would obviously champion this perspective. When the Secretary General High Level Panel was formed in 2012, Graҫa Machel, among others, supported the perspectives of people living in poverty, and many Panellists reached out to engage with different groups.


Making Small Business a Big Deal at the G20

May 29, 2013

By Sarah Montgomery & Tina Chang


Small Businesses in Sierra Leone

To Mariamata Sbangara, struggling to sell groceries on the streets of Kenema, Sierra Leone, the world’s “premier economic forum” must seem a world away.

But there are good reasons for President Putin and his G20 colleagues to put small businesses such as Mairamata’s front and centre of the agenda for their St Petersburg summit this September.

At this Summit the G20 will revisit its agenda on supporting the economic development of low income countries, as the Seoul action plan expires. Improving the focus on small businesses within this work plan would do a lot to improve the development impact of the G20. For example, the G20 has paid a lot of attention to infrastructure – a key constraint to most small businesses in poor countries. In recent research that we have conducted in 12 developing countries, access to markets due to poor infrastructure provision is a major barrier. In Kenya one livestock business owner reported that getting customers could be a problem for him as ‘sometimes customers are unable to reach markets due to bad roads.”. In Mondul Kiri, Cambodia a rice farmer reported that “the road to our community is bad and so the rice collectors don’t want to come to buy from us.” The message from small enterprises was clear; you cannot be successful if you cannot get goods to market. (more…)