UPDATE 4PM: RESPONSE TO COMMENTS (SEE END OF POST)
by Lant Pritchett, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Obama’s speech at the MDG conference and the announced US Global Development Policy are the result of long preparation and internal discussions within the administration as part of the Presidential Study Directive, lead out of the NSC, announced a year ago, and the QDDR, prepared by State, both processes having been watched over by the Washington think tanks and advocacy groups.
It’s sure was nice to see mainly Ethiopians vigorously participating in a debate about Ethiopia, in contrast to the usual Old White Men debating Africa. The Meles visit to Columbia had the unintentional effect of promoting this debate. We were very happy at Aid Watch to have had the privilege of turning over our little corner of the web to host some of this debate, and then just get out of the way.
Here’s more in the aftermath of the Meles speech:
Africa Didn’t Ask You (honestly):
The always wonderful David Rieff takes on the MDG summit:
With the fatuousness that has marked his administration from the outset, the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, has now issued a document called “Keeping the Promise,” timed to coincide with the 2010 meeting of the U.N. General Assembly and the summit on the organization’s so-called Millennium Development Goals that is taking place simultaneously.
One week. Two development summits. Hundreds of heads of state, development luminaries, CEOs, and social entrepreneurs. Celebrity star power. No poor people. Aid Watch spent three days trying to make sense of the greatest show on earth to help the world’s lowest.
if the international community just keeps doing the same things the same way, we will miss many development goals.
For too long, we’ve measured our efforts by the dollars we spent … But aid alone is not development.
Our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasn’t always improved those societies over the long term. Consider the millions of people who have relied on food assistance for decades. That’s not development, that’s dependence….
let’s move beyond the old, narrow debate over how much money we’re spending and let’s instead focus on results-whether we’re actually making improvements in people’s lives
This post was written by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton announced a new $60 million initiative to help 100 million households adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership that includes the US State Department, the UN Foundation, the World Food Program, Royal Dutch Shell, the World Health Organization, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
This is a joint post written with Claudia Williamson, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.
If you’re reading this blog, and especially if you’re in New York City right now, you’re probably familiar with the Millennium Development Goals. Besides being the focus of this week’s United Nations summit, they are just (according to the UN) “the most broadly supported, comprehensive, and specific development goals” in human history. Should we fail to meet them by 2015, (according to Oxfam) “we are likely to witness the greatest collective failure in history.”
In 2000, nearly every country in the world made a promise to achieve a set of eight goals, including poverty reduction, women’s empowerment and universal primary education by 2015. How far have we gotten? Host Michel Martin speaks with two opposing voices about the progress made this far: John McArthur, CEO of Millennium Promise, and William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University.
Listen to the interview on NPR’s Tell Me More. Once in the media player, the segment is called “UN Convenes to Assess Global Progress”- it’s 12 minutes long.