The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have provided an important motivational force and measuring rod for progress on poverty reduction and human development. This summary is part of initial findings from an ongoing review of development progress, which will include a set of 'MDG indicators to construct league tables' highlighting progress on these indicators. It focuses on progress towards three MDGs and some of the factors contributing to that progress: Goal 1 (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), Goal 4 (reduce child mortality), and Goal 5 (improve maternal health).
The key message from many years of working towards the MDGs is that progress is possible. In every aspect of development, a significant number of countries have made real achievements. The challenge for the remaining five years until the 2015 MDG deadline is to learn from, and build upon, the progress made.