At first glance, there seems to be nothing wrong with the MDGs. Who can argue against eradicating poverty and hunger worldwide? Who would not wish for all children to complete primary education? Who would not hope for a reduction in the spread of malaria and AIDS? These are all valuable objectives and any actor involved or interested in development issues is likely to acknowledge the fact. However, several questions remain: Why were certain objectives chosen instead of others? Who was pushing which agenda? What major pitfalls did this generate? Financially, there is a great deal at stake in tackling poverty and this needs to be borne in mind when reflecting on current deve-lopment discourses.
Halfway to the MDG deadline, this essay reflects on several problematic issues: 1) the lack of progress measurements; 2) Goal 2 and the overemphasis on primary education; 3) Goal 8 and the difficulty of effectively operationalizing so many different sub-themes. It also considers what would be the best way forward up to 2015. Should we stick to the same eight goals for the next seven years, with all the pitfalls now identified, or should we
learn from this mid-term assessment and hope for a reformulation of objectives?
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