April 5th marked the 1000 day mark until December 31, 2015, the target date for the UN Millennium Development Goals, and according to reports, they are having a decidedly noticeable impact. These eight goals, approved by the U.N and almost two dozen partner organizations, intend to help millions of people facing extreme poverty, poor sanitation and inequality, and are the most widely accepted way that non-profits, including Jolkona, meaningfully measure their impact. John Podesta, (currently on a U.N Panel for post 2015 development) writing for Foreign Policy Magazine, discusses the immense progress that has been made in advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since their inception at the beginning of the new century, but also describes the huge amount of progress that still needs to be made.
What are the MDGs?
The MDGs address the needs of the world’s poor with a broad set of goals that focus on impacts.
- Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development.
These goals provide context for the effects from the Jolkona community and our partners, and we can see the impacts growing every day.
How successful have they been?
However, these impacts are not only limited to micro-donations. According to Podesta, the MDGs have been undeniably successful on an international level. In addition, they are considered the most successful global push to fight poverty.
- Extreme poverty has been reduced by half in 20 years.
- Millions of girls have the opportunity to go to school
- Child mortality has been significantly reduced
- Major global efforts to fight diseases like HIV, TB, and Malaria.*
Mr. Podesta discusses, however, that there are still important areas where success, though in progress, is still a distant prospect, such as places where maternal and child mortality are significantly higher than other places in the world. Child mortality has been halved globally, but is currently more concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, with 82% of deaths. Similarly, maternal mortality has also been nearly halved, but is still 15% higher in developing nations. While the millions more girls have access to education, women still face significant discrimination.
As the target date for the MDGs draws closer, the lessons about ending global poverty in a rapidly changing world are as important as the current success in understanding how we can continue to change the world beyond 2015. According to Mr. Podesta, the “changing distribution of global poverty…means that development is moving away from traditional relationships between ‘donor’ and ‘recipient’ countries.” Perhaps the biggest lesson of the MDGs is that the relationship between goals like social equality and inclusion, sustainability, and economic growth is as important as each goal individually. In the same way, the relations between government agencies, the private sector, NGOs and philanthropies for addressing global issues are integral for moving forward.
What can you do?
The MDGs have been so successful through innovation, and that is what will continue the trend of making an impact on global issues. On a smaller scale, Jolkona works to transform philanthropy and the giving experience in conjunction with the Millennium Development Goals. Our community has made a significant impact, and will continue to make an impact until December 31st 2015. As Podesta discusses, it is important to look even farther ahead, and maintain momentum for the next 1000 days and beyond. You can do your part by donating to a cause and making an impact on the Millenium Development Goals yourself.