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After 2015: progress and challenges for development

Working papers

Written by Claire Melamed

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have set the benchmark for global development policy since 2000. In 2015 the current set of MDG targets will expire, and although much progress will have been made, many targets will not have been met. What is the most effective way to take the MDG agenda forward after 2015?

This is a live political debate. Political capital is already being invested in a post-2015 agreement, and it is becoming an increasingly active agenda for non-governmental organisations. There are a range of options being proposed. These vary in ambition from keeping the current targets and extending the deadline, to keeping the current structure with some tweaking of existing targets and adding some new ones, or to the most ambitious aim of replacing the MDGs with a wholly new structure.

Whatever the practicalities of a post-2015 agreement, it is essential that it learns the right lessons from the past and has the right analysis of the future, if it is to be both politically acceptable and useful in reducing poverty. This Background Note maps out current thinking on the impact of the MDGs and options for the future.

Claire Melamed and Lucy Scott