The end of 2015 ushers in a variety of mixed offerings. And sitting on the top of this list is the transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For those who are not aware, the Millennium Development Goals, which were proposed in the late 90s, are coming to a close at the end of 2015. So, in short, the Sustainable Development Goals represent the new framework taking over from the outgoing MDGs.
At the helm of this ambitious and revolutionary project is Quid – an internationally recognised data generation and analyzing enterprise – that is assisting the UN in implementing the SDGs. It has availed its resources and a platform for the UN’s data scientists to visualise how best these goals can be achieved over the next 15 years.
This was after a partnership between Global Pulse (UN’s wing involved with the visualisation of the SDGs) and the information mapping platform was effected in September 2015.
The goals’ general framework
The SDGs, which comprises of 17 goals and over 169 targets, are at the most basic level, globally set targets and standards that UN member states are expected to use a benchmark when designing their individual national agendas and policies. And like the MDGs, the SDGs are expected to run for the next 15 years – until 2030.
Structurally and ideologically, the sustainable development goals expand and follow up on the progress made by the MDGs. They were formulated after a long negotiation process between the governments/ member nations representatives and the UN Statistical Commission in a bid to agree on the priorities that the globe needs after 2015.
So why do we need the Sustainable Development Goals?
There is no denying that the progress made by the MDGs led to the 21st-century world being a better place for humanity compared to any other era in history. On that note, the MDGs also played a vital role in ending extreme poverty and scaling up the living standards of those disadvantaged by race, age, gender, education status, etc.
If anything, the MDGs acted as the focal point for national governments that they used to formulate new policies, source donations for well-to-do nations and most importantly promote sustainable living practices. This included efforts directed at alleviating poverty, disease and hunger, especially in third world countries.
Nonetheless, despite the success brought forth by the MDGs, they were generally considered narrow and short-sighted. And to address the inadequacies of the MDGs, the SDGs were formed in a bid to get all nations working towards achieving common targets. One of the major shortcomings of the MDGs is that various countries worked on different targets, and the result of such an attention split was that the ordinary man (commoner) was forgotten as the rest of the world was moving forward.
In fact, as we’re speaking, there are still more than one billion people in the world who are living on less than $1.25 per day – literally below the poverty line. At the same time, the end of 2015 sees more than 800 million go to bed every night hungry and half-starving. It cannot also be forgotten that girls and women are still marginalised in some parts on earth, die during children, not to mention being subjected to retrogressive cultural practices such as female genital mutilation.
The proposed global goals brought forth by the SDG
The SDG framework encompasses over 17 goals distributed over an array of pertinent global issues ranging from poverty, hunger, health, education, water & sanitation, sustainable energy, climate change, etc.
Each of the goals is backed up by relevant strategies as well as specific and attainable targets that act as milestones towards a happy, healthy and educated world.
Well, that is just a quick overview of what this year’s SDGs entail. The collaboration between the UN, Quid and Global Pulse will provide big data analysis for the Sustainable Development Goals allowing to delve deeper into the subject matter on each goal and how it compares to the current situation.