Category Archives: post-2015

Smart Aid – Where ODA will still be useful

This post by Raundi HalvorsonQuevedo, a substantive reviewer for the OECD Development Co-operation Report 2013 provides a first look at Jon Lomøy’s piece for the Report. This post is part of the Wikiprogress  series on Post-2015
Concessional development finance is no longer the key source of finance for national development; non-concessional lending from both public and private sources has increased significantly over recent years and is now playing an important role.  Does all this mean that public concessional finance has become irrelevant, or does it still have a role to play?
The author has assessed empirical data regarding official development assistance (ODA) flows over the past decade and identified a number of trends that show how concessional finance from Development Assistance Committee members has adapted over time to emerging needs and urgent concerns – and drawn the following conclusions about where ODA will still be useful in future and how to ensure that aid will be even “smarter” in that context.

  • Targeting the neediest  Providers of ODA have historically given priority to the poorest of the poor.  Since 2008, ODA to low-income countries (which today comprise 36 countries) has been around 30% of total ODA. Within this group, however, there are some countries which are not receiving enough ODA to meet their needs. The existence of under-aided countries – or “aid orphans” – results largely from donors’ uncoordinated allocation practices: one donor rarely takes into consideration how other donors allocate their ODA when making their own decisions. To address this vacuum, the OECD-DAC has developed a methodology for identifying potentially under-aided countries and monitoring assistance to them. This analytical tool will help us better target ODA, making it smarter still.

  • Support to fragile states is fundamental for eradicating poverty  The past two decades have seen the rise of conflict and fragility as major global concerns, with serious implications for poverty eradicationBetween 2000 and 2010, support from DAC members to fragile states more than doubled – from USD20 billion to USD50 billion – reaching 38% of all ODA given by DAC countries. This support is fundamental for addressing global poverty: in 2010 these countries accounted for one-third of the world’s poor and by 2015 they are projected to be home to half of them, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Many argue that this is where the main future use of ODA should be.

  • Tapping new resources   While traditional development finance, notably ODA, will continue to be important, there is now agreement that extra financing will be needed for sustained development in the majority of developing countries. The challenge for smart aid is to provide ODA in ways that will stimulate additional resources for development. Using aid to strengthen tax collection systems, for example, can capture home-grown resources for development.  ODA can also be used to encourage foreign investment, engage the private sector and encourage new innovative financing mechanisms such as guarantees, insurance facilities, “green” bond funds and advanced purchase arrangements to create incentives for private sector investment.

  • A great deal more money will be needed to deal with climate change  To meet the challenges of climate change, substantial new financial resources will be required – from private investments to new forms of taxation. ODA for climate will also continue to be important, but it will need to be smart – using innovative mechanisms to attract other finance and to create the systems and capacity for monitoring and assimilating these resources in diverse developing country settings.

Raundi HalvorsonQuevedo

Can we Really End Poverty? A Debate on the Future of Poverty

Watch the debate live-stream from 7pm-8.30pm (UK time) on 5th December, here

Unfinished business: women and girls front and centre beyond 2015

This post, by Emily Esplen, Policy Analyst on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights at the OECD, is based on a speech prepared for the Secretary General of the OECD for a joint workshop of the DAC Network on Gender Equality and the UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality on the MDGs and post-2015. This blog is a part of the Wikiprogress series on Post-2015.

There is no chance of making poverty history without significant and rapid improvements to the lives of women and girls. Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG 3) recognised that gender equality is important both as a goal in its own right and as a prerequisite to the success of all other development goals. That gender equality and women’s empowerment is one of only eight global goals has proven to be a powerful stimulus for action.

Yet despite hard won gains, we are a long way from achieving gender equality. All over the world, women and girls continue to face discrimination, exclusion, poverty and violence on the basis of their sex. The figures are stark. Gender parity in primary education has not been achieved in 68 countries. Women still face gender pay gaps, occupational segregation and glass ceilings. They hold less secure jobs than men, with fewer social benefits. 800 women die every day from preventable pregnancy and childbirth related causes. One in three women experience violence in their lifetime.

We must do everything we can to achieve the MDGs by the end of 2015. This means meeting existing aid commitments and investing in the right strategies to accelerate progress for women and girls in the time that remains. Finishing the job we started with the MDGs will also require an ambitious and inspiring post-2015 framework that builds on and expands the priority given to advancing gender equality in the MDGs.

Agreeing an ambitious agenda 


This was the focus of much lively debate at a workshop in early November in Paris, which drew together gender equality advocates from the United Nations, governments and civil society. Participants echoed the strong consensus emerging from across the globe that addressing the “unfinished business” of gender equality and women’s empowerment means putting women and girls front and centre in the post-2015 framework.This will require a strong stand-alone gender equality goal and the comprehensive integration of gender-specific targets and indicators across the new framework.
Now is time to go beyond business as usual and step up our efforts to empower girls and women. Participants were unequivocal that a new framework will need to address the structural factors that underpin the widespread persistence of gender inequality. This calls for a transformational agenda that is anchored in and aligned with existing international human rights standards. Priority must be given to addressing the disadvantage experienced by the most marginalised women and girls.

Fighting for the targets and indicators that will really make a difference 


When the time is right, we need to be ready with the targets and indicators that will really make a difference to the lives of women and girls. Already clear areas of consensus are emerging about what is needed. We know that quality secondary education has huge pay-offs for women’s empowerment. We know that putting an end to early marriage would transform girls’ lives – enabling them to stay in school, fulfil their potential and make choices about their futures. We know that expanding women’s economic opportunities is a key driver of development with multiplier effects for societies, economies and women themselves. We know that women’s capacity to influence the decisions that shape their lives is a basic human right and a prerequisite for responsible and equitable governance. We know that ending violence against women is essential for women’s full participation in economic, social and political life. Each of these must be priorities in the post-2015 framework.

Backing up political rhetoric with action


Building a framework with teeth will require adequate and sustained financing, and strong accountability mechanisms. Political promises must be backed up with the resources required to do the job. We need to gather and use high quality data to monitor our progress and build evidence about what works. We also need to track governments’ expenditure and the proportion of aid focused on achieving gender equality, and hold ourselves to account for the promises we make.

Towards a universal agenda


At the OECD, we know that there is no country in the world where gender equality has been achieved. That’s why we need to keep a strong focus on gender equality beyond 2015. It is also a potent reminder that gender equality is a universal concern that applies to all countries, including OECD countries.
The OECD aspires to play the role of “best supporting actor” in support of these global processes – recognising that real progress is only possible if countries themselves own the agenda and are in the lead. Bringing gender equality and women’s rights to the centre of government attention is a challenge for the months ahead.
Arriving at global consensus will not be easy. With gender equality and women’s rights we can never afford to be complacent – it is not a done deal. And the post-2015 agenda is a high-stakes game. But success is within our grasp if we build a broad base of support and work together with our allies in the global south to position gender equality as a “must have”.

Visualise How Education Transforms Lives

 This post, written by Wikichild co-ordinator Melinda George, wraps up the Wikiprogress September Series on Education and Skills. It provides the infographics and some key figures from the soon-to-be launched 2013 Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
While we are waiting for the full Education For All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR) to be launched, UNESCO has released a booklet of the new infographics and data to show how education transforms lives.  The EFA team also held a tweetchat last week around these infographics. You can search for the #educationtransforms hashtag to catch up on the conversation.
 Education Transforms Lives
Education lights every stage of the journey to a better life, especially for the poor and the most vulnerable. Education’s unique power to act as a catalyst for wider development goals can only be fully realized, however, if it is equitable.
Education empowers girls and young women, in particular, by increasing their chances of getting jobs, staying healthy and participating fully in society – and it boosts their children’s chances of leading healthy lives. 
 To unlock the wider benefits of education, all children need the chance to complete not only primary school but also lower secondary school. 
Education Empowers Women to Overcome Discrimination

One in eight girls is married by the age of 15 in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia, and one in seven has given birth by the age of 17. Ensuring that girls stay in school is one of the most effective ways of averting child marriage and early birth. Education is also a key factor in hastening the demographic transition to lower birth and mortality rates.
In Ethiopia, 32% of girls with less than primary education were married before the age of 15, compared with less than 9% of those with secondary education.
 If all countries expanded their school systems at the same rate as the Republic of Korea and Singapore, there would be almost 850 million fewer people in the world by 2050 than if enrolment rates remained at 2000 levels.
Education Can Save the Planet

Education can encourage people to use energy and water more efficiently and recycle household waste. In poor countries affected by climate change, education helps people adapt to its effects.
Across 29 countries, 25% of people with less than secondary education expressed concern for the environment compared to 37% of people with secondary education and 46% of people with tertiary education.
  Investing between US$11 billion and US$14 billion per year in basic education for girls globally would help their households make better choices to counter the effects of expected weather-related disasters.

Equal Education Boosts Economic Growth
Education not only helps individuals escape poverty by developing the skills they need to improve their livelihoods, but also generates productivity gains that boost economic growth substantially. For growth to reduce poverty, however, it needs to overcome inequality by improving the lives of the poorest and marginalized the most. 
If education inequality in sub-Saharan Africa had been halved to the level of Latin America and the Caribbean, the annual per capita growth rate over 2005–2010 would have been 47% higher.


Educating Girls Can Save Millions of Lives 
There are few more dramatic illustrations of the power of education than the estimate that the lives of 2.1 million children under 5 were saved between 1990 and 2009 because of improvements in girls’ education. 
Education is one of the most powerful ways of improving children’s health. Educated mothers are better informed about specific diseases, so they can take measures to prevent them. They can recognize signs of illness early, seek advice and act on it.
India and Nigeria account for more than a th
ird of child deaths worldwide. If all women in both countries had completed secondary education, the under-5 mortality rate would have been 61% lower in India and 43% lower in Nigeria, saving 1.35 million children’s lives. 
In Burkina Faso, if all women completed primary education, the under-5 mortality rate would fall by 46%; if they completed secondary education, it would fall by 76%.
In sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 70% of the world’s HIV infections, 91% of literate women know that HIV is not transmitted by sharing food, compared with 72% of those who are not literate. 
  In the Arab States, a one-year increase in maternal education is associated with a 23% decrease in the number of children under the age of five dying from pneumonia. In Cameroon, where the female secondary gross enrolment ratio was 47% in 2011, if all women had had secondary education, the incidence of malaria would have dropped from 28% to 19%. In low income countries, mothers who have completed primary school are 12% more likely than mothers with no education to seek appropriate health care when their child has symptoms of diarrhoea. 

A Mother’s Education is Crucial for Her Own Health 
Every day, almost 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, including pre-eclampsia, bleeding, infections and unsafe abortion. Educated women are more likely to avoid these dangers, by adopting simple and low cost practices to maintain hygiene, by reacting to symptoms, and by making sure a skilled attendant is present at birth.
Education reforms increased education attainment among young women by 1.8 years in Kenya, accounting for a 34% decline in the maternal mortality ratio.
In Nepal, 49% of literate mothers have a skilled attendant at birth, compared with 18% of mothers who are not literate.
 Education Keeps Hunger Away
Malnutrition is the underlying cause of more than a third of global child deaths. Educated mothers are more likely to ensure that their children receive the best nutrients to help them prevent or fight off ill health, know more about appropriate health and hygiene practices, and have more power in the home to make sure children’s nutrition needs are met.
In South Asia, 22 million fewer children would be stunted if all mothers reached secondary education.
In Honduras, the chances of children being stunted – short for their age – is 54% if they are born to mothers with less than primary education, falling to 33% for those born to mothers with primary education, and to 10% if they are born to mothers with at least secondary education.
Education strengthens bonds between communities and societies
Across 18 sub-Saharan African countries, those of voting age with primary education are 1.5 times more likely to express support for democracy than those with no education, and the level doubles among those who have completed secondary education.
In Turkey, citizens with secondary education are around twice as likely as those with only primary schooling to sign a petition and participate in a peaceful demonstration.
In Central and Eastern Europe, those with secondary education are 16% less likely than those who have not completed secondary education to express intolerance towards immigrants.
 In Tunisia, while only 22% of those with less than primary education agree that democracy, despite its drawbacks, is the best system of governance, 38% of those with secondary education do so.
 Education Enhances Job Opportunities
 If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, which would be equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty.
In El Salvador, only 5% of working adults with less than primary education have an employment contract, compared with 47% of working adults with secondary education.
In Jordan, 25% of women with only primary education who live in rural areas work for no pay, compared with 7% of those with secondary education.
 In Pakistan, working women with good literacy skills earn 95% more than women with weak literacy skills.
In rural Indonesia, an additional year of schooling reduced the chances of falling back into poverty by 25%. 

The information above comes from

Melinda George

68th UNGA – What’s happening?

This blog gives a provisional agenda for the 68th United Nations General Assembly, held from 24 September until 1 October, 2013. It is part of the Wikiprogress Series on Post-2015. The OECD has been very involved in the post-2015 debate. Check out this paper on what the OECD could contribute to the Post-2015 development agenda and framework.

To watch the 68th UNGA live from 23 September, click here. You can also follow discussions in the Twittersphere using the following Hashtags: #UNGA,  #post2015 and #beyond2015

24 September – 1 October, 2013
As of 19 September 2013

Monday 23 September
11:00 – 12:30
Launch of the knowledge gateway for women’s economic empowerment
(No. 16 UN Agenda)
14:00 – 15:00
One Million Voices: Data Analysis from My World
(No. 36 UN Agenda)
(link to event on 25 Sept 18:15)
·         My WORLD Survey
·         Claire Melamad, Head of Programme, Growth, Poverty and Inequality, ODI
·         Paul Ladd, Head, Team on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP
·         Serin Falu Njie, Deputy Director, Policy, UNMC
·         Amita Dahiya United Nation Volunteer in India country office
Civil Society Voices on Post-2015: Messages from the National Level
(No. 10 UN Agenda)
15:00 – 17:00
Stability and Peace: Finding the Heart of Sustainable Development
(No. 52 UN Agenda)
·         Quaker United Nations Office &  Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
·         Andrew Tomlinson (Quaker United Nations Office)
·         HE Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Minister of Finance the Federal Republic of Nigeria
·         Ms Ann Sofie Nilsson (Director General of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs)
·         Mr Theophilus Ekpon (National Peace Summit Group Nigeria)
·         Dr Zhang Chun (Shanghai Institutes for International Studies)
·         Ms Carolyne Zoduah (AGENDA)
·         Mr Jay Naidoo, Chair of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition)
15:00 – 18:00 (actual 10:00 – 18:00)
MDG Success: Accelerating Action and Partnering for Impact
(No. 9 UN Agenda-web link)
·         Executive Office of the Secretary-General
·         UN Member States
·         Interational Organisations etc
15:00 – 17:00
What People Want: A report from global conversation on the post-2015 development goals
(No. 15 UN Agenda)
·         UNDG
·         Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General
·         Helen Clark, UN Development Group Chair
·         Monique Coleman, Actress and Global Youth Ambassador
·         Elizabeth Ford, The Guardian, Moderator
·         others (tbc)
17:30 – 20:30
Investments to End Poverty’ Report Launch and Reception
·         Development Initiatives
·         Rajesh Mirchandani, (BBC World Affairs Correspondent)
·         Homi Kharas,  (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution)
·         Judith Randel, (Executive Director, Development Initiatives
·         Tony Pipa (Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID)
·         Winnie Byanyima, (Executive Director, Oxfam International)
Tuesday 24 September
UNGA General Debate commences (All Day)
7:30 (Breakfast) 08:15 – 09:45
International Youth Voices on Post-2015
(No. 18 UN Agenda)
·      BMZUNICEF & Mexico

·         Ahmad Alhendawi (UN Sec Gens Envoy on Youth)
·         Gudrun Kopp (Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany)
·         Dr. Roberto Dondisch (General Director for Global Issues, Foreign Ministry, Mexico)
·         Global Youth Representatives
08:30 – 9:30
Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Breakfast Meeting
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         Mexico,  United Kingdom, Indonesia & Nigeria

Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership:
·         Hon. Armida ALISJAHBANA, Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning
·         Hon. Ngozi OKONJO-IWEALA, Nigerian Minister of Finance
·         Hon. Justine GREENING, UK Secretary of State for International Development
·         José Antonio Meade Kuribreña Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs
·         Helen Clark (TBC) UNDP Administrator
09:45 – 11:45
(No. 22 UN Agenda – link)
·         OECD OSG/PCD &  Italy
·         Lapo Pistelli, Italian Minister for Development Co-operation
·         Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development
·         Ann-Sofie Nilsson, Swedish Director-General for International Development Co-operation
·         Winifred Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International
·         Private sector representative
·         Dev country representative
Voice, agency and participation – intimate strategy session – Clinton Global Initiative
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         World Bank
·         TBC
11:30 – 13:00
Tackling the unfinished business: Accelerating MDG progress
·         UNDP & World Bank
·         Heads of State
·         Ministers
13:15 – 14:30
Multidimensional Poverty and Multidimensional Measurement
of the Post-2015 development agenda
(No. 25 UN Agenda)
·         Germany, Colombia,  Mexico &  Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
·         President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia (TBC)
·         Sabina Alkire, Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (confirmed)
·         Gonzalo Hernandez Licona, Executive Secretary of CONEVAL, Mexico
·         Bruce Mac Master, Minister of Social Development, Colombia
·         Arssenio Balisacan, Minister Socio-economic Planning, Philippines
·         Shamsuddeen  Usman, Minister of Planning of Nigeria
·         Gudrum Kopp, Parliamentary Secretary of State Germany
·         Representative from UNDP
·         Representative from World Bank
13:00 – 14:30
Side event “The Right to Education in the Post 2015 Development Agenda”
(No. 56 UN Agenda)
·         Global Campaign for education, Education international Universal Peace Federation,  OAFLA & First Ladies Community Initiative
·         TBC
13:15 – 14:45
Side event of the Leading Group on innovative financing for development :
Innovative financing for development :
what role in the means of implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda ?
(No. 20 UN Agenda)
·         Leading Group on Inovative Financing for Development (FFD)
·         President Francois Hollande
·         Mr Philippe Douste,Blazy UN USG UNDESA  Innovative Financing for Development
·         Mr Alfredo Moreno, Minister of External Affairs – Chile
·         Mr. Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissionner Dvp
·         Mr. Pascal Canfin, minister of Development, France
·         Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the UNSG on post-2015
·         Heidi Hautaula, Min of Internat Dev, Finland
·         Rebecca Grynspan, Deputy Admin UNDP
·         President of the Leading Group (Nigeria rep)
·         Mr. Mark Suzman (MD of International Policy and Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
·         + more
15:00 – 17:00
Réunion de Haut Niveau sur les OMD – L’Afrique au-delà de 2015 : Quels objectifs pour quel modèle de développement
(No. 26 UN Agenda)
·         Morocco
·         TBC
14:00 – 16:00
MDG 2013 Countdown – girls and women transforming societies
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         Ford Foundation
·         TBC
15:30 – 18:00
OECD Side Event – Global Partnership for Effective Development –
Domestic resource mobilisation within a future global partnership for development
(No. 27 UN Agenda)
·         United Kingdom, Indonesia &  Nigeria
·         Minister Ngozi
·         Minister Meade
·         Mr. Thabo Mbeki
·         Director-General Ortega
·         Zeinab Badawi (TBC Moderator)
·         Others TBC
Wednesday 25th September
All Day (09:00 – 18:00)
UNGA President Special Event on MDGs and post-2015
08:00 – 09:45
The Power of Numbers
(No. 28 UN Agenda)
·         Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation – Sweden, Colombia & Sweden
·         TBC
08:00 – 09:30
Looking to 2015 and beyond: The role for anti-corruption and governance
(No. 33 UN Agenda)
·         UNDP, UNODC & Transparency International
·         Panel TBC
·         Director general of SIDA
·         Assistant Secretary General of UNOHCHR
8:30 – 10:30
Women delivering development:  integrating women, reproductive health and environmental issues into the post-2015 agenda, sustainable development goals and FP2020
(No. 64 UN Agenda)
·         Center for Environment and Population
·         TBC
09:30 – 11:00
High-Level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Crisis in Central African Republic and the International Response
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         OCHA
·         France
·         EU
·         Ms. Valerie Amos, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
·         Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for Internatioal Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
·         Others
10:30 – 13:00
UNGA President Special Event on MDGS and post-2015 – Roundtable 2
·         President of UNGA
·         Ireland
·         South Africa
·         Roundtable 2 Co-Chairs:
·         Prime Minster Bangladesh
·         Deputy Prime Minster Ireland
·         UN Member States
·         Observers
·         NGOs etc
10:30 – 13:30
The voices of people living in poverty in the post-2015 agenda: Inclusion, participation and dignity
(No. 60 UN Agenda)
·         Caritas Internationalis, CAFOD and Trocaire
·         TBC
11:00 – 13:00
Global Education First Initiative Anniversary Event: Learning for All High-Level Meeting on Coordinating the Financing and Delivery of Education
(Not in UN Agenda)
13:15 – 14:45
Freedom from violence for every woman and girl
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         Finland, Liberia, UN Women
·         TBC
13:00 – 15:00
Tackling Water Risks to Secure a Sustainable Future Ministerial Lunch
(No. 31 UN Agenda)
·         Switzerland,  Netherlands,  Colombia,  UNSGAB & World Water Council
·         Michel Jarraud, Chair of UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization
·         Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (tbc)
·         Didier Burkhalter, Vice-President and Foreign Minister of Switzerland
·         Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands
·         Patti Londoño, Vice-Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Colombia
·         Juanita Castaño, member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation
·         Benedito Braga, President of the World Water Council
13:15 – 14:45
Effectiveness and accountability in the post-2015 development agenda – lessons from the MDG experience
(No. 30 UN Agenda)
·         UNDESA Germany
·         TBC
Note: The side event will publicly launch the preparations for the DCF Germany High-level Symposium, on “Accountable and effective development cooperation in a post-2015 era” (Berlin, March 2014)
15:30 – 17:00
Deauville Foreign Ministers Meeting
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         United Kingdom
·         TBC
12:00 – 15:00
A Transformative agenda for sustainable development in Nigeria and Africa: Lessons, actions and emerging perspectives
(No. 34 UN Agenda)
·         Nigeria
·         TBC
18:00 – 20:00
Global Education First Initiative Reception and Launch of the Learning Metrics Task Force Report
(Not in UN Agenda)
·         Center for Universal Education at Brookings and Partners
·         TBC
18:15 – 20:00
MY World Partner Recognition Event and Award Ceremony
(No. 36 Un Agenda)
·         MY World Team (UN Millennium Campaign, UNDP, ODI),  United Nations Volunteers, United Nations Foundation, UNICEF & M&C Saatchi
·         Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor of the United Nations Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning
·         Mr. Richard Dictus Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme
·         Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
·         (Other) Members of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons
Thursday 26 September
10:00 – 12:00
(No. 46 UN Agenda)
·         Philippines National Economic and Development Authority &  OECD/PARIS21
·         Arsenio M. Balisacan, Secretary Socioeconomic Planning, Philippines
·         Jose Ramon Albert, National Statistics Coordination Board, Phillipines
·         Neil Fantom, Manager, World Bank Open Data Initiative
·         Chris Gingerich, Deputy Director, Data and Analytics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
·         Judith Randel, Exec Director, Development Initiatives
·         World Bank
·         Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
·         Development Initiatives
13:15 – 14:45
Ensure stable, secure and resilient societies in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
(No. 42 UN Agenda)
·         Finland,  Guatemala,  UNDP,  PBSO, UNICEF, Timor Leste, UN PBSO, Saferworld & IEP
·         H.E. Heidi Hautala, Minister for International Development of Finland
·         Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
·         H.E. José Luís Guterres, Minister of State and of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste
·         Representative of the Government of Rwanda
·         Ms. Ekaterina Parrilla, Secretary for Planning and Programming, Guatemala
·         Mr. Vasu Gounden, Executive Director, The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
Friday 27 September
08:30 – 14:30
Global Development after 2015: The Role of Foundations and Civil Society
(No. 44 UN Agenda)-Link
·         UNDP,  Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation (in collaboration with WINGS, OECD netFWD and EFC)
·         Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
·         Heather Grady, Vice President, Rockefeller Foundation
·         Others TBC

We look forward to keeping you informed!

Wikiprogress Team

How to engineer a “data revolution”? The OECD’s view on post-2015 goals monitoring

This post, written by the OECD’s Charlotte Demuijnck, provides an overview of the OECD’s input on target measurements in the post-2015 development framework and agenda. The OECD paperStrengthening National Statistical Systems to Monitor Global Goals on post-2015 goals monitoring is the fifth thematic paper in series which outlines the Organisation’s position on the global debate in the lead up to the UN 68th General Assembly which begins on Tuesday, 17 September 2013. This post is part of the Wikiprogress Post-2015 series.

The paper is the fifth in a series of OECD’s contributions to the post-2015 agenda. It proposes steps needed for efficient tracking of the post-2015 development goals. Despite the positive impact the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process has had on the production and availability of data, as well as on the development of national statistical capacity, the paper highlights the need to agree on a better statistical strategy to overcome the remaining challenges for post-2015 monitoring.
As emphasised in the paper, the MDG process has significantly helped at improving national statistical capacities. Countries have risen to the challenge of delivering high quality, internationally comparable data, mainly using household surveys. As the paper states: “the average number of surveys produced each year in Ethiopia and Ghana almost doubled since 2000”. In addition to domestic funds, development co-operation was a significant driving force in this improvement. Ghana, for example, relies entirely on external support for data production.
However, some issues remain for proper tracking of the post-2015 agenda such as gaps in the data collection and analysis, as well as the exclusion and under-utilisation of national data in the MDG monitoring process. Apart from household surveys, other sources of MDG monitoring have not been sufficiently developed.As a matter of fact, only 6% of Sub-Saharan countries have complete civil registration systems and about 250 million people are missing from existing surveys. According to the authors, inadequate and under-investment in assistance for data production explains the gaps in MDG data. Another issue is that of the exclusion of national data from the global monitoring exercise leading to huge discrepancies between UN-reported data and national estimates. This has become more problematic as Murray*, among others, has questioned the validity of UN estimates and methodologies. The paper explains that the under-use of national data is due to non-compliance with international standards and poor co-ordination. To solve this issue, “better alignment of national and international efforts to strengthen statistical capacity” is recommended. In this regard, prior consultation and nationally-defined indicators should drive the post-2015 monitoring process.
 A quote from the PARIS21 webpage
Acknowledging the call for a “data revolution” by the High Level panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons onthe post-2015 development goals, the paper emphasises the OECD’s expertise and experience in creating a global statistical strategy and partnership. Indeed, the OECD, and more specifically, the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) offers a ready-made structure on  which to found this global statistical strategy. PARIS21 was mandated to act as the Secretariat for the implementation of the Busan Action Plan for Statistics (BAPS) in 2013, a global initiative to support National Strategies for the Development of Statistics(NSDSs). Several recommendations are given to support the “data revolution”. First, the post-2015 statistical strategy should include more data sources such as the use of mobile technology, social media etc. It should also aim at developing national statistical capacity for more reliable and relevant data in the monitoring process. In this regard, the BAPS represents “an explicit and high-level political commitment” to prioritise national statistics development. Finally, the HLP also recommends the creation of a Global Partnership on Development Data for which, according to the paper, “the logical starting point” would be PARIS21 – as the only international initiative for inclusive data co-operation.
For more information on the side event:
In conclusion, the post-2015 agenda needs to rely on existing initiatives and framework for an effective “data revolution” and global goals monitoring. To that end, the paper supports the OECD’s position as the Best Supporting Actor in the global development debate, with its highly valuable expertise and experience.  
– Charlotte Demuijnck
*Murray, C.J. (2007), “Towards good practice for health statistics: Lessons from the Millennium Development Goals health indicators,” The Lancet, 3/369, pp. 862-873.

Zambia: What Comes After Universal Primary Education?

During the month of September 2013, Wikiprogress and networks are focusing on ‘Education and Skills‘, building upon ‘International Literacy Day’ on 8 September 2013. This blog post, written by Global VoicesGershom Ndhlovu, discuses education in Zambia as well as what the OECD proposes for post-2015 education goals.
Looking at African literacy rate rankings shared by The African Economist last month, 37 of Africa’s 52 countries now score above 50 percent, while 17 countries now score above 70 percent.
For a continent that is ranked the poorest to have such relatively high scores, there is hope that education and literacy levels could keep soaring with sustained efforts after the 2015 deadline passes for achieving eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including universal primary education.
Certainly Zambia, which ranks 17th in Africa with just over 80 percent literacy levels, could climb the ladder if the current efforts of government, non-governmental organisations and individuals to improve education bear fruit.
Despite educational advances and an increase in the number of universities in Zambia, the lower education ladder is still problematic with many pupils failing to move up in the educational system.
School, and then what?
An OECD paper outlining recommendations on education for a post-2105 development framework suggests that educational targets and measurements are important once more universal access to primary and secondary schools has been achieved. The OECD notes that despite gains in school enrolment and attendance around the world since the MDGs were launched in 2000, many young people still leave school without the knowledge and skills they need to find jobs and thrive.
In Zambia last year, around 60,000 pupils failed grade seven out of 337,706 who sat for the exams.
Commenting on a story about grade seven results in the Lusaka Times, a reader, Chongo B.C, wrote:
The grade seven results for 2012 have been very impressive as compared to the past years. This has been a tremendous improvement. However,the Government through the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Childhood should make sure that it provides adequate classrooms for these pupils to learn effectively. Above all, it should reduce the pupil-teacher ratio in classrooms in order to provide conducive learning environment. This will ensure quality education and productive citizens who will be useful in the society.
Another reader, Xhoisan X questioned one of the most touted policies by successive governments:
Please educate me. I was made to understand that Zambia now has compulsory education up to secondary school. So what are these results [the education minister] is announcing?
While the primary school progression rate may look bad, it is the sieve at grade nine that sends the most pupils into the wilderness. According to the Times of Zambia, only 100,824 candidates passed out of the 291,018 who sat for the examinations in 2012.
There are a number of factors that affects pupil progression to higher education but the biggest problem appears to be lack of classroom space at the lower levels with a teacher/pupil ratio in Zambia of 1 to 63 for 2011 according to the World Bank.
The government has embarked on building more classroom space at primary, secondary and tertiary levels to absorb as many pupils and students as possible. Opening a school in rural Zambia last year, President Michael Sata said:
Our aspiration is to put together a well-organized, valuable and reliable public education system through substantial investments in educational infrastructure. As Government we have an obligation to structure and shape the future of our general populace, particularly the younger citizens, who constitute a greater part of our population.
President Sata also laid out his government’s plans to build the universities in an inaugural speech to parliament in 2011, and he has so far commissioned the construction of Palabana University, formerly a dairy training institute, Chalimbana University, formerly a teacher in-service training school, and Robert Makasa Univesity, formerly Lubwa Mission. These new universities will exist in addition to three existing public universities, University of Zambia, Copperbelt University and Mulungushi University.
Although the government is making an effort, there are many challenges that make gaining access to education impossible for many people, among them the severe poverty that afflicts many households.
Looking to the future
As the OECD notes, while the importance of universal access to primary education would be retained, a post 2015 education-related goal is likely to incorporate the secondary education level and include a stronger focus on learning. The OECD itself supports a Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) where countries can measure results in comparison with one another.
While its not clear what the Zambian government would do to meet such standards, at least infrastructurally a start has been made. The construction of primary and secondary schools would ideally match the level at which public universities are being created, coupled with the training and recruitment of more teachers.
At the individual level, realising the predicament of children from poverty-stricken homes, a Zambian living in the United States, Isabella Mukanda Shamambo, has established an education centre called Beyond Universal Primary Education for All going by the acronym, BUPE (meaning “gift” in some Zambian languages). Introducing the project on the Community Prayer Centers website, she writes:
The near success of one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals has left a generation of kids with 7th grade education roaming the streets of many major cities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, the need has arisen for a universal Secondary education which most cannot afford. Kids roam the street of Ndola [city in Zambia] selling plastic bag in the hope of going back to 8th grade. Others wander the streets, hope of a better future completely lost.
The most progressive policy the Zambian government announced in 2012 were plans to upgrade 1,570 so-called community schools which are run mostly by NGOs to cater for vulnerable groups from poorer areas of urban and peri-urban areas. This is likely to help contribute to the attainment of MDGs and beyond.
Optimistically speaking, with the achievement of universal primary education around the corner, in Zambia in particular and Africa in general, we should prepare to take a confident leap beyond the 2015 Millennium Development Goals to focus on improving the curriculum and promote higher levels of learning.
This post is part of a series by Global Voices bloggers for the OECD engaging with post-2015 ideas for development worldwide. The OECD is not responsible for the content in these posts.
See the Wikiprogress post-2015 portal for more on this topic.
Creative Commons License

Written by Gershom Ndhlovu

This post first appeared 22 July, 2013 on the Global Voices blog.

What Should International Development Look Like After 2015?

This blog post, written by Global Voices‘ Ayesha Saldanha, is part of the Wikiprogress Series on Post-2015. It gives an overview of the Millennium Development Goals, the discussion around the new development framework, and what the OECD suggests for Post-2015.
In 2000, the member states of the United Nations made a historic commitment to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The MDGs focus on some of the world’s most pressing development issues, such as poverty, gender, health and basic literacy. With 2015 fast approaching, a conversation has started about what progress has been made, and what still needs to be done. What should the post-2015 goals be?
The MDGs are: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality rates; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development.
Progress so far has been uneven, both between regions and countries, and within countries.
In May 2013 the United Nation’s High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) presented its recommendations for global development priorities beyond 2015. These have been greeted with both praise and criticism.
On Twitter the hashtag #post2015 is being used to debate the post-2015 development agenda.
On his blog, Matt Andrews of Harvard’s Kennedy School questions whether developing new goals is worth it:
As groups meet to develop post-2015 MDGs I ask: What were the MDGs meant to achieve? Did they achieve this? What evidence is there? Does the evidence really support having post-2015 global goals and targets? Or should we just focus on growth…
Economists Richard Kozul-Wright and Jayati Ghosh write at the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog:
Making inequality part of the development policy agenda has already gained traction. But to make lasting progress, it will be necessary to move beyond MDG-style targets and instead consider a global new deal allowing different economic strategies providing benefits for all.
Image from UN Millennium Development Goals Facebook page.
Image from UN Millennium Development Goals Facebook page.
It has been argued that a key weakness in the MDGs was that they were written without the participation of the people whose lives they were meant to improve. As Megan Williams of the Australian Council for International Development notes at Make Poverty History Australia:
Over 15 years ago, a group of people sat in a room at the United Nations and imagined what it would take to eradicate extreme poverty, and in what time frame it could be achieved. Without much outside consultation they presented eight Millennium Development Goals to the world, which in the years following, galvanised popular action, were written on billboards, marched through streets and painted on buildings. […] This time instead of being locked in a room discussing what comes next, the conversation is spilling over into boardrooms, parliaments and communities around the world.
This video posted on YouTube by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows how the UN gathered the opinions of people around the world to present to the HLP :
Indonesian student Andhyta Utami (@Afutami) has uploaded a presentation offering a young person’s perspective of the post-2015 agenda.
At the Local First blog, John Coonrod of The Hunger Project comments:
In the year 2000, world leaders created the Millennium Development Goals – eight time-bound goals to significantly cut poverty in all its forms. MDGs such as access to pre-school, primary education, good nutrition, safe water and sanitation all require effective local governance. Yet very little was done to “localize” the MDGs.
Coonrod then lists ten priority actions he believes the world community should take to ensure that the post-2015 agenda adheres to the principles of “Local First”, including investing in grassroots civil society and guaranteeing that women’s voices are heard.
Chudi Ukpabi, a international development consultant, focuses on Africa in a blog post at The Broker:
Tackling issues like poverty, inequality, food security, water security and environmental degradation will remain necessary for international development after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. It is my contention that – in the upcoming decades – African countries will need to define and bring their own priorities in terms of social, economic, cultural and political issues, into the debate.
Also at The Broker, Saskia Hollander responds to the HLP report:
It is all too easy to be fooled by rhetoric. Despite its promising transformative discourse, the HLP falls short of recognizing and tackling the economic and political power structures that hamper the desired transformative shifts.
And Indian campaign Wada Na Todo Abhiyan expresses its concerns:
We commend the Panel for their efforts to reach out to a diverse set of stakeholders and make the process participatory, which was a point of discontent with the way the current MDGs were formulated, and appreciate parts of its intent but also have some serious concerns around the fundamentals of the Report. At a glance, the huge shift as the Report states is of “partnership”, i.e. of turning to the private sector as well as civil society “within market principles”, making us quite worried and wary. Further, this big shift comes without a clear articulation of corporate accountability; it is limited to government “prompting” the multinationals, suggestions for companies to internally strengthen their mechanisms, “integrated reporting” and corporations being accountable to their shareholders (which they anyway are).
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which helped to develop the MDGs, is calling for a development agenda not only aimed at the global and universal level, but also at the national level with specific targets adapted to the capacities of countries. It has summarised this two-level approach:
1. Level one: Establish a small set of global goals reflecting universally-agreed outcomes.
2. Level two: Each country translates the global goals into specific targets and indicators which reflect their specific level of development, context, responsibility and capacity. They should also include equality dimensions including gender equity and, where possible, make full use of data disaggregated by sex.
Acknowledging that the world has changed since the MDGs were formulated, the OECD has focused on eleven elements to help adapt to the new realities.
On his blog, Dan Smith of International Alert calls for the debate to continue:
My worry is that the positions taken in the HLP report, more than two years before the UN General Assembly votes through the new development goals, will be about as comprehensive and nuanced as official position-taking will get. From here, I would expect positions to narrow, to lose their challenge and depth while gaining in technocratic legitimacy. Accordingly, it seems time the debate gets properly under way so that doesn’t happen.
This post is part of a series by Global Voices bloggers for the OECD engaging with post-2015 ideas for development worldwide. The OECD is not responsible for the content in these posts.

This post first appeared 9 July, 2013 on the Global Voices blog.


Protsahan, Encouraging Girls Through the Arts in India

This blog post, written by Global Voices‘ Ayesha Saldanha, is part of the Wikiprogress Series on Post-2015. It discusses the role of gender equality and how the OECD engages with post-2015 ideasfor development worldwide.

Gender equality is recognised as key to development, though it is yet to be fully achieved in any country. United Nations member states pledged to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals, including gender equality, by 2015. Progress has been uneven, and now the question for the international community is what the post-2015development framework should be.
As the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has noted, gender equality as a development goal is “unfinishedbusiness“:

Although there has been progress in some areas such as girls’ access to primary education and women’s economic empowerment, the level of achievement has been uneven across regions and within countries. There is no chance of making poverty history without significant and rapid improvements to the lives of women and girls in all countries.

The OECD suggest that increased investment in the following five policy areas could have catalytic effects on development beyond 2015: Keeping girls in school; improving reproductive health and family planning; economic empowerment; supporting leadership; and stopping violence against women.
 Helping girls realize their dreams
Protsahan in India is an example of a social initiative that – without waiting for government action – is directly addressing these issues at a grassroots level, affecting the lives of hundreds.
They work to educated is advantaged girls from slums and red light areas through creative arts. It was established by a young woman called Sonal Kapoorand is run by a team of young people, many of them volunteers.
Kapoor was prompted by an encounter with a woman in Delhi who was sending her eight-year-old daughter to a brothel in order to support her five other daughters – and was planning to strangle the seventh child she was pregnant with if it turned out to be a girl.
Protsahan means “encouragement” in Hindi. A blog post from 2011 outlines their philosophy:

How many times have you blamed the country, the politicians, the mafia or “anyone” for the prevailing issues? It’s a fact that the economic gap, the growing discrepancies between evolving and degrading sections is so stark that it can be labeled as alarming now. While a small portion is growing wealthier, another section of the society is depleting with each passing day. […] We have envisioned a way to do our bit, to hold some hands and to realize dreams for the less fortunate. […] Our kids want support not just sympathy. They want a chance to live a better life, to contribute to the building of a better society. We want you to be a part of this initiative and help in the transformation.

The following video introduces the organisation’s work:

The power of art
Protsahan offers a curriculum based on art and creativity that then allows the children to go on to study in government schools – and to change their communities. Kapoor explains:

These children come from very tough backgrounds. As a creative medium, the arts stimulate cognitive development, encourage innovative thinking and creativity and engender understanding.

A group of girls is currently writing, shooting and editing a film on the problem of open defecation, which will subsequently be screened in their communities. Kapoor (@ArtForCause) tweeted:

Photography is another skill being taught:
The girls at Protsahan recently performed in a play looking at the issue of violence against women:
American blogger Nicole Melancon (@thirdeyemom) visited Protsahan and posted a compilation of her photos:

Development post-2015
As the world looks ahead to what the post-2015development framework should be, it’s likely that true gender equality will only be achieved with the creativity, innovation and support of concerned citizens as well. Protsahan is an example of what is possible at the local level.

For more on this topic, see the Wikiprogress post-2015 portal , Wikichild and Wikigender platforms.  
This post first appeared 8 August, 2013 on the Global Voices blog.

What can OECD’s PISA bring to global education post-2015?

This post by Charlotte Demuijnck, provides an overview of the OECD’s input on education in the post-2015 development framework and agenda. The OECD post-2015 paper on educationis the first thematic paper in a series which outlines the Organisation’s position on the global debate in the lead up to the UN General Assembly in September 2013. This blog is part of the Wikiprogress series on education.*
The OECD’s contribution on education to the post-2015 framework: PISA for development is the second in a series of contributions to the post-2015 agenda. This paper provides a brief overview of progress to date with the education-related MDGs and looks forward to what global education goals could look like beyond 2015.
Building on the success of the universal access in primary schooling since the establishment of the MDGs, the emerging consensus of the international community on the post-2015 agenda is that education-related goals and targets should remain included in the post-2015 framework. As a matter of fact, the UN High Level Panel report released in May 2013 advises that one of the next universal goals be “Provide Quality Education and Lifelong Learning”. In this regard, the paper on education reflects the Organisation’s converging views towards this consensus. In fact, the OECD’s true contribution to the debate lies in its innovative and efficient approach to forming future education goals, which are both qualitative and measurable.
As emphasised in the Education paper, “experience since 2000 has underlined that schooling doesn’t necessarily produce learning” (p. 1). Although important progress has been made towards the education-related MDGs, challenges remain strong. The paper gives two directions for the post-2015 agenda: the new development agenda should focus on the quality of learning and should shift focus from primary to secondary education. However, such perspective requires dealing with issues of regional inequalities and statistical capacities at the national level, problems which were not sufficiently tackled in the pre-2015 framework. To that effect, the OECD expertise and policy instruments constitute a substantial input.
Particularly relevant is the Programme for International Student Assessment(PISA), which started in 2000 and is based on a qualitative and causal approach to education outcomes. As intelligibly detailed in the paper, PISA addresses both “cognitive and non-cognitive learning outcomes”. As such, it provides “the most comprehensive and rigorous international assessment of learning outcomes in education” through the testing of 500 million 15 year-old students from both developed and developing countries. As a matter of fact, more and more developing countries like China or India “have expressed an interest [in PISA], following the successful participation of a large number of middle-income countries in previous PISA cycles” (p. 3).

As explained in the paper, “PISA for development” translates the ways in which PISA could become a performing tool in defining realistic and achievable goals in the post-2015 agenda. Based on lessons from PISA, “PISA for development” will help define “how to measure learning, the likely pace of progress towards achieving  a learning goal,” as well as how to avoid setting over-ambitious learning goals  and targets.
More importantly, PISA for development has concrete benefits for the post-2015 education-related goals and targets: as a single world reference, this OECD policy instrument is a comparable, credible and robust measure of progress for educational quality and equity at the global level. Precisely, PISA for development can help identify the world’s top performing and most equitable education systems. It offers developing countries insights for personalised reforms and is a driver for improved instutions and capacity building.
All in all, this paper reflects the OECD’s pioneered position in the education field and the ways in which the Organisation can bring cutting edge ideas and efficient policy instruments to support more equitable and higher levels of learning in the world. Throughout the paper, the reader can see the OECD’s firm commitment to contribute to the global debate on future education and the ways it intends to do so. 
Charlotte Demuijnck

*Education and Skills will be the Wikiprogress focus in September 2013. If you would like to contribute a blog or an article on education, please contact