About Millennium Development Goals

The MDG Monitor was created to be the central source for all information regarding the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), both at a national and international level. Besides that, the platform functions as a tool for students, journalists, development practitioners, policy makers, and other parties interested in learning about the MDGs and/or keeping track of their progress.

The MDG Monitor is a creation of the partnership between the United Nations Development Programme, Relief Web of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative is funded and facilitated by Google and Cisco.

Why use the MDG Monitor?

The idea behind MDG Monitor is to showcase how developed and developing countries are progressing in their efforts to realise the MDGs. Now that the 2015 target date is here, it is more important than ever to identify which goals have been achieved, barriers to success, and what areas need to be addressed next. Additional support and effort will also be needed in the post-2015 era, so the data and information available on MDG monitor will help identify the areas to be targeted next.
The MDG Monitor is continually updated as new data is made available. There are multiple variations of the platform in other languages. Country-level data and information is available in Google Earth accessed via the MDG Monitor website homepage. So, anyone can:

  • Track progress via interactive maps or profiles specific to each country (Country Profiles are updated annually with the latest official information from the UNDP collected in consultation with national governments)
  • Learn about different countries’ achievements and challenges while accessing the latest news
  • Support organisations working the MDGs across the globe

How the MDG Monitor Works

The tool showcases UN data that has been fed into the system, so the figures presented are from the indorsed MDG indicators database updated by the UN Statistics Division in collaboration with organisations and agencies both within and outside the UN System, including:

  • The World Bank’s World Development Indicators
  • The UN DESA’s Statistics and Population Divisions
  • UNDPs Human Development Reports

All statistics provided on MDG Monitor are compiled by specialised agencies according to their proficiency. They are obtained from data availed by national governments to the international statistical system of the UN, and then adjusted for comparability.
There are 189 countries in the Millennium Declaration, but the availability of national data needed to determine the indicators in each country are dependent on the capability of the individual national statistical departments to provide the necessary data to the appropriate international agencies in a timely manner.

So, missing national data can be attributed to several factors, including:

  • The failure of a national government with more recent statistics to produce or report them to the international statistical system
  • Failure of a country to produce the data required to compile the indicators

In such situations, international agencies are forced to make estimated depending on data provided on related variables, or using other methodologies.

For a detailed description of how estimates and adjustments are produced, look at the metadata section of the MDG database.