Millennium Development Goals

The United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focus on key social factors that are crucial to poverty alleviation:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a Global Partnership for Development.10


Although the MDGs have been justifiably criticised for their top down, one-size-fits-all approach, they unite international development efforts around the single focus of tackling poverty. The Reality of Aid Network has recently released a detailed assessment of the MDGs and the progress of donors with regard to this.



The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness

  • The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness makes further progress towards improvements in international aid but it does not go far enough.
  • The Declaration is limited by a failure to place human rights and justice at the heart of development. It fails to redress the imbalance of power between donors and recipients[i] and it has weak targets.
  • The Reality of Aid Network believes that without redressing these failures the Paris Declaration will not be enough to alleviate poverty [ii]



According to a 2008 OECD survey, Australia’s progress in its commitment towards the Paris Declaration target is far behind the other donor countries.

Australia’s progress in implementing the Paris Declaration (2008)[i]


[i] AusAID’s Management of the Expanding Australian Aid Program, The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Australian NAtional Audit Office, Attorney-General’s Department, ACT, Australia, 2010 p96.


[i] Reality of Aid 2008 Report (Abridged version) page 4


[ii] 1Reality of Aid 2008 Report (Abridged version) page 23


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