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