Background Information for the UN MDG Summit PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 July 2010

How to make MDG implementation statistics more understandable to policy makers and to common people

The new generic time distance methodology offers policy makers, NGOs, media and the general public a new view of the implementation of the MDGs that is exceptionally easy to understand and communicate. S-time-distance calculates the time lead or time lag of actual values from the lines to 2015 MDGs targets. It is like tracking the actual arrivals in comparison with the train (airplane, bus) timetable. 

Results are presented at three levels: for 8 world regions, for all countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and for DAC members on Official Development Aid.   

World regions: Analysing the implementation of MDGs for the aggregate Developing Regions showed that 8 indicators out of the selected 10 indicators were behind the lines to the 2015 targets for between 4.6 years and nearly 13 years, only two were ahead. The largest delays were for maternal mortality ratio and prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age; by regions in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Asia and Southern Asia. These recorded substantial delays in the implementation of MDGs should not overshadow the fact that progress has been made in all selected indicators and in all world regions, though in very different degrees. 

Sub-Saharan Africa by countries: for 8 indicators S-time-distance analysis was in 81 percent of cases behind the lines to target and 19 percent of cases ahead of them. The worst situation was for the indicator percent of the population undernourished. The percentage rule for determining the MDGs target understates the progress made in Africa and puts a much more demanding target in terms of feasibility to regions and countries with more difficult starting positions. 

Official Development Aid: tracking the timetable for reaching the UN target of 0.7 percent of GNI with time distance showed that the performance in 2009 was off the track: the delay of 4.6 years for DAC total. 

By seeing with new eyes of the time distance perspective new perceptions of the situation with broader conclusions can be reached with new development stories from existing MDG data at the world, country and local levels. SICENTER developed a free web tool to facilitate this for interested users. The time distance monitoring methodology can be usefully applied also in operational monitoring of implementatiton of plans, budgets, forecasts, projects, etc. at macro and micro levels.

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