Grand plans/ aid targets

Millennium Villages: Moving the goalposts

Here on the blog, we’ve been following the progress of the Millennium Villages Project, a joint effort from the UN and Columbia’s Earth Institute that has introduced a package of development interventions in health, education, agriculture and infrastructure into 14 “clusters” of villages throughout 10 African countries.

And now going for the Aid Watch record on global charity cluelessness…

Aid Watch received the following tidbit from a trusted source. It was posted on a community list-serve:
Does anyone have any old men’s size  8.5-9.0 sneakers they would like to get rid of? Like, lawnmowing sneakers, that sort of thing?  I’m running a mud race on Sunday and at the end the muddy destroyed sneakers will be donated to Green Sneakers, a non-profit that recycles old sneakers and donates them to people in need around the world. If you have a decent pair that can withstand a mud run, I’d be happy to take them off your hands.

The Millennium Development What?

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.”

Be Careful What You Export

Our distant ancestors had a biological constitution awfully similar to our own, and, like us, only 24 hours in a day. Arguably the main reason we have so much better lives than them is that we have better ways of doing things (broadly conceived). So it makes a great deal of sense that much of the work in development planning and foreign aid consists in exporting ways of doing things. Technology and scientific know-how are the most easily obvious examples, but we also export methods of organization and governance.

Constructivist Cartography

The development blogosphere recently lit up with news of South Sudan’s plan to rebuild some of its urban centers in the shape of various animals.

US gets a strategy to meet the Millennium Development Goals – please explain

UPDATE: UN Dispatch disagrees, we respond (see end of post).
Although the eight goals that seek to reduce the global burden of hunger, poverty and disease were agreed upon by aid donors almost 10 years ago, and most of the goals come due in 2015, the world’s largest donor has never had a strategy to achieve them. Obama campaigned on the promise of making the MDGs “America’s goals,” but the first year and a half of his administration has not yet delivered on this promise.

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