Written by Mallory Clyne, The North-South Institute.
In the year 2000, world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration, a global commitment to a peaceful, prosperous, and equitable world. The declaration included a set of targets for development and poverty reduction to be reached by 2015. These development targets are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs were successful in many ways and had substantial influence on international development. Their successor framework in 2015 is set to be just as influential.
There is broad consensus that the development agenda which replaces the MDGs has to be universal. Whereas the Millennium Development Goals applied to developing countries only, the post-2015 development agenda will apply to all countries.
To support the implementation and measurement of the post-2015 development agenda, a “data revolution” has been called for that will allow governments and policymakers to better track development progress and give citizens the information they need to demand more from their governments and hold them to account.
As 2015 approaches, there is hope that the post-2015 framework will be a guiding framework for future sustainable development efforts, more ambitious than the MDGs. But how exactly will this universal and country-determined framework play out in real time and in the real world? To answer this question The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), The North-South Institute (NSI),in association with Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals (Southern Voice), and the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), have launched an initiative that will road test the post-2015 development agenda and identify data challenges for its implementation and measurement.
The idea is that if the initiative can do some beta testing before the post-2015 development framework is actually rolled out, that the global policymakers and architects of the post-2015 development agenda will be able to pre-emptively respond to identified challenges and maximize the post-2015 framework’s impact. Additionally, the initiative, appropriately named the Post-2015 Data Test, seeks to encourage, capture and promote analytical inputs from the global South in post-2015 deliberations to ensure that the post-2015 development agenda truly reflects universal priorities.
But how can you road test a massive global undertaking like the post-2015 development agenda? The Post-2015 Data Test’s approach is simple: examine country priorities and data accessibility in seven potential post-2015 goal areas in eight different countries. The potential goal areas include: Poverty; Employment and Inclusive Growth; Governance and Human Rights; Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Resilience; Global Partnership for Sustainable Development; Energy and Infrastructure; and Education. Participating countries, selected especially because they represent different country contexts, include: Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Turkey.