Investing in Development
A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals”
10 Key Recommendations
Developing country governments should adopt development strategies bold enough to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for 2015. We term them MDG-based poverty reduction strategies. To meet the 2015 deadline, we recommend that all countries have these strategies in place by 2006. Where Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) already exist, those should be aligned with the MDGs.
The MDG-based poverty reduction strategies should anchor the scaling up of public investments, capacity building, domestic resource mobilization, and official development assistance. They should also provide a framework for strengthening governance, promoting human rights, engaging civil society, and promoting the private sector. The MDG-based poverty reduction strategies should:
Be based on an assessment of investments and policies needed to reach the Goals by 2015.
Spell out the detailed national investments, policies, and budgets for the coming three to five years.
Focus on rural productivity, urban productivity, health, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, environmental sustainability, and science, technology, and innovation.
Focus on women?s and girls? health (including reproductive health) and education outcomes, access to economic and political opportunities, right to control assets, and freedom from violence.
Promote mechanisms for transparent and decentralized governance.
Include operational strategies for scale-up, such as training and retaining skilled workers.
Involve civil society organizations in decisionmaking and service delivery, and provide resources for monitoring and evaluation.
Outline a private sector promotion strategy and an income generation strategy for poor people.
Be tailored, as appropriate, to the special needs of landlocked, small island developing, least developed, and fragile states.
Mobilize increased domestic resources by up to four percentage points of GNP by 2015.
Calculate the need for official development assistance.
Describe an ?exit strategy? to end aid dependency, appropriate to the country?s situation.
Note: Recommendations for sector-specific policies and investments are summarized in this report and described at length in the individual reports of the UN Millennium Project task forces.
Developing country governments should craft and implement the MDG-based poverty reduction strategies in transparent and inclusive processes, working closely with civil society organizations, the domestic private sector, and international partners.
Civil society organizations should contribute actively to designing policies, delivering services, and monitoring progress.
Private sector firms and organizations should contribute actively to policy design, transparency initiatives and, where appropriate, public-private partnerships.
International donors should identify at least a dozen MDG “fast-track” countries for a rapid scale-up of official development assistance (ODA) in 2005, recognizing that many countries are already in a position for a massive scale-up on the basis of their good governance and absorptive capacity.
Developed and developing countries should jointly launch, in 2005, a group of Quick Win actions to save and improve millions of lives and to promote economic growth. They should also launch a massive effort to build expertise at the community level.
The Quick Wins include but are not limited to:
Free mass distribution of malaria bed-nets and effective antimalaria medicines for all children in regions of malaria transmission by the end of 2007.
Ending user fees for primary schools and essential health services, compensated by increased donor aid as necessary, no later than the end of 2006.
Successful completion of the 3 by 5 campaign to bring 3 million AIDS patients in developing countries onto antiretroviral treatment by the end of 2005.
Expansion of school meals programs to cover all children in hunger hotspots using locally produced foods by no later than the end of 2006.
A massive replenishment of soil nutrients for smallholder farmers on lands with nutrient-depleted soils, through free or subsidized distribution of chemical fertilizers and agroforestry, by no later than the end of 2006.
The massive training program of community-based workers should aim to ensure, by 2015, that each local community has:
Expertise in health, education, agriculture, nutrition, infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, and environmental management.
Expertise in public sector management.
Appropriate training to promote gender equality and participation.
Developing country governments should align national strategies with such regional initiatives as the New Partnership for Africa?s Development and the Caribbean Community (and Common Market), and regional groups should receive increased direct donor support for regional projects. Regional development groups should:
Be supported to identify, plan, and implement high-priority cross-border infrastructure projects (roads, railways, watershed management).
Receive direct donor support to implement cross-border projects.
Be encouraged to introduce and implement peer-review mechanisms to promote best practices and good governance.
High-income countries should increase official development assistance (ODA) from .0.25 percent of donor GNP in 2003 to around 0.44 percent in 2006 and 0.54 percent in 2015 to support the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in low-income countries, with improved ODA quality (including aid that is harmonized, predictable, and largely in the form of grants-based budget support). Each donor should reach 0.7 percent no later than 2015 to support the Goals and other development assistance priorities. Debt relief should be more extensive and generous.
ODA should be based on actual needs to meet the Millennium Development Goals and on countries? readiness to use the ODA effectively.
Criteria for evaluating the sustainability of a country?s debt burden must be consistent with the achievement of the Goals.
Aid should be oriented to support the MDG-based poverty reduction strategy, rather than to support donor-driven projects.
Donors should measure and report the share of their ODA that supports the actual scale-up of MDG-related investments.
Middle-income countries should also seek opportunities to become providers of ODA and give technical support to low-income countries.
High-income countries should open their markets to developing country exports through the Doha trade round and help Least Developed Countries raise export competitiveness through investments in critical trade-related infrastructure, including electricity, roads, and ports. The Doha Development Agenda should be fulfilled and the Doha Round completed no later than 2006.
International donors should mobilize support for global scientific research and development to address special needs of the poor in areas of health, agriculture, natural resource and environmental management, energy, and climate. We estimate the total needs to rise to approximately $7 billion a year by 2015.
The UN Secretary-General and the UN Development Group should strengthen the coordination of UN agencies, funds, and programs to support the MDGs, at headquarters and country level. The UN Country Teams should be strengthened and should work closely with the international financial institutions to support the Goals.
The UN Country Teams should be properly trained, staffed, and funded to support program countries to achieve the Goals.
The UN Country Team and the international financial institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, regional development banks) should work closely at country level to improve the quality of technical advice.