The Guardian published the time distance method for measuring implementation of MDGs PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 June 2013

Gaptimer Progress Chart for World Regions and results for 111-140 countries

The article is available at with appropriate links. While setting sensible goals and providing data about implementation are both necessary preconditions for any post-2015 interventions, we also need statistical measures that are transparent and easily understood by everyone. The time dimension of MDG implementation can be presented and analysed in a new complementary way that is very easy to understand and to communicate.

Measuring implementation involves comparing two sets of data: actual developments over time against the implied time path from the starting point to the 2015 MDG target deadline. The discrepancies can be measured in two dimensions; static difference at a given point in time and discrepancies in time (either time lead or time lag). Monitoring implementation is like comparing train or bus arrivals with the timetable provided for each mode of transport. In the context of the MDGs, it amounts to comparing the time of actual implementation with the time stipulated by the schedule to the 2015 target. 

The results in the Gaptimer Progress Chart attached uses the same identifiers as Formula 1 on TV: drivers who score a minus at time distance are shown in green to signify that they are ahead in time; i.e. if the developing world is on track, ahead or behind schedule to achieving MDG goals. It enables the reader to grasp at a glance the world situation for 100 time distance results across 10 MDG indicators and 10 units (7 world regions, Developing Regions, China, and India) to facilitate debate for the past and the post-2015 era.

To facilitate the understanding and use of this method SICENTER has developed a free web tool to monitor implementation of targets with the S-time-distance measure available to international and national organisations, NGOs, experts, businesses, managers, educators, students, interest groups, media, and the general public. It can be used for monitoring implementation in many areas beyond MDGs, like adding a second dimension to comparing actual values with target values, forecast, budget, plan, etc., both at macro and business levels. It is available on

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