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From the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals: A shift in thinking

We have been asked about the history of and our perspective on the shift from the Millenium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development goals a few times in the conversations we find ourselves in regarding development. We thought we would put a post up on the topic to share our thoughts regarding this with you.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were a set of eight global development goals established by the United Nations in 2000. These goals aimed to reduce poverty, hunger, and disease, as well as promote gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability by the year 2015.

While the MDGs did lead to some progress in these areas, they ultimately fell short of their intended targets. One major reason for the change from the MDGs to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is that the MDGs were criticized for their narrow focus on specific development indicators and lack of attention to interconnected issues.

For example, the MDGs did not adequately address the complex and interconnected factors that contribute to poverty, such as economic inequality and political instability. Additionally, the MDGs did not take into account the impact of climate change and other environmental factors on development.

Another reason for the change from the MDGs to the SDGs is that the MDGs were criticized for their lack of attention to the needs of marginalized communities and groups. The SDGs, on the other hand, place a greater emphasis on inclusion and equity, and aim to leave no one behind.

Additionally, the SDGs recognize that development cannot be achieved in isolation and must be integrated with other global challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. The SDGs also reflect a shift in thinking about development from a linear, top-down approach to a more holistic, bottom-up approach.

The SDGs recognize that sustainable development requires the participation and empowerment of all stakeholders, including local communities, civil society organizations, and the private sector. This approach is more inclusive and responsive to the needs of different communities and groups.

Overall, the change from the MDGs to the SDGs reflects a growing understanding of the complex and interconnected nature of development and the need for a more holistic and inclusive approach to addressing global development challenges. The SDGs are a more ambitious and comprehensive set of goals that aim to achieve sustainable development for all, taking into account the interconnectedness of economic, social and environmental issues.

You can browse the SDG's here and review South Africa's SDG progress here

This is how we #GrowZA


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