1st Edition

The MDGs, Capabilities and Human Rights The power of numbers to shape agendas

Edited By Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Alicia Yamin Copyright 2015
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    Heralded as opening a new chapter in international development, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have led to the use of global goals and quantitative targets as a central instrument for defining global priorities. This book explores the implications of this new approach. How does target setting influence policy priorities of national governments, bilateral donors, multilateral agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholders? What are the intended and unintended consequences? Why is the use of numeric indicators effective? How does quantification reshape meanings of challenges such as women’s empowerment?

    Building on 11 case studies and a conceptual framework, this book provides a goal-by-goal analysis by leading specialists in the relevant fields. These specialists analyse the choices made, as well as the empirical and normative effects of the MDGs to offer insights for a more rigorous use of indicators and cautions on their limitations and perverse consequences. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

    1. The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of Millennium Development Goal Targets for Human Development and Human Rights

    Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Alicia Ely Yamin and Joshua Greenstein

    2. Global Goals as a Policy Tool: Intended and Unintended Consequences

    Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

    3. National or International Poverty Lines or Both? Setting Goals for Income Poverty after 2015

    Joshua Greenstein, Ugo Gentilini and Andy Sumner

    4. The MDG Hunger Target and the Competing Frameworks of Food Security

    Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Amy Orr

    5. Full Employment Target: What Lessons for a Post-2015 Development Agenda?

    Rolph van der Hoeven

    6. Measuring Education for the Millennium Development Goals: Reflections on Targets, Indicators, and a Post-2015 Framework

    Elaine Unterhalter

    7. No Empowerment without Rights, No Rights without Politics: Gender-equality, MDGs and the post-2015 Development Agenda

    Gita Sen and Avanti Mukherjee

    8. The Questionable Power of the Millennium Development Goal to Reduce Child Mortality

    Elisa Díaz-Martínez and Elizabeth D. Gibbons

    9. Why Global Goals and Indicators Matter: The Experience of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Millennium Development Goals

    Alicia Ely Yamin and Vanessa M. Boulanger

    10. Millennium Development Goal 6: AIDS and the International Health Agenda

    Nicoli Nattrass

    11. Muddying the Water? Assessing Target-based Approaches in Development Cooperation for Water and Sanitation

    Malcolm Langford and Inga Winkler

    12. The City is Missing in the Millennium Development Goals

    Michael Cohen

    13. Analysis of Millennium Development Goal 8: A Global Partnership for Development

    Aldo Caliari


    Alicia Ely Yamin is a Lecturer on Global Health and Policy Director at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, USA. Her career bridges academia and activism. She has published dozens of scholarly articles and books, and regularly advises UN agencies on global health, and development issues.

    Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is a Professor of International Affairs at The New School, New York City, USA. She is a development economist who has published widely on a broad range of development policy related issues and is best known for her work as director and lead author of the UNDP Human Development Reports 1995-2004.