MY World: how we gave the world a voice

This piece is written by Clare Kitchen, global development writer and editor.

Punk rock dissidents Pussy Riot wear tattoos plugging the MY World survey.

Punk rock dissidents Pussy Riot wear tattoos plugging the MY World survey.

This piece is the fourth in a series aimed at capturing the inside story of the negotiations for history’s most ambitious development agenda.

Why do it?

MY World grew out of a realisation that the Millennium Development Goals were set without widespread political or popular support, or knowledge.

As a result, they took valuable years to establish, wasting time and effort promoting a programme that, once running, would become extremely successful in tackling the inequalities that still plague our world.

Keen to avoid making this same mistake with the new agenda (due to take over from the MDGs in 2015) policy makers began discussing how to make the setting of a new goals a transparent and inclusive process.

Much of this discussion, which began in 2011, focussed on including as many experts as possible. But there were others who were thinking about how to include citizens too.

“There was a clear acknowledgment that we wanted to target young people and make sure their voices were heard. There was also a clear acknowledgement that we wanted to target everyone – because it was a universal agenda – and we wanted to use what we did not have in 2000 which was social media and the platforms which allow us to contact people across borders without having to travel – except through cyberspace.” Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the SG on Post-2015.

Read Clare’s full piece here (PDF)

If you would like to contribute your own stories of how the SDGs came to be agreed, or respond to any of the contributions in this series, please send us an email

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