Beyond 2015: 5 possible scenarios and a reminder

Prominent international development leaders and personalities hold up a call-to-action banner on the Millennium Development Goals. Photo by: Andy Metter / World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA

The debate on what the next set of development goals post-2015 should include continues to heat up as Rio+20 — considered the first key opportunity to negotiate new targets — fast approaches.

There are at least five possible outcomes for a post-2015 development framework, Alex Evans and David Steven suggest in a paper on the expected status of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and background of what should follow the eight goals:

  • Full SDGs — A framework based on the Sustainable Development Goals proposed in the first draft of the outcome document for Rio+20.

  • SDG-Lite — A “diluted” set of goals where contentious elements were removed during the negotiation process.

  • MDG+ — A revised version of current development goals that are either less or more coherent.

  • Hybrids — Various blends of SDGs and MDGs, possibly including a twin-track framework featuring sustainable-based goals alongside the current ones.

  • Car crash — Worst-case scenario where governments fail to reach any kind of agreement.

Meanwhile, Stephen Hale and Lysa Johnson offer a bit of advice to delegates attending the Rio+20 conference: Learn from past mistakes.

“So far the process shows signs of making the same mistakes as last time, in a world where the dramatic shifts in global power make the previous approach untenable,” the two write.

To correct this, Hale and Johnson say the international community should put equity, sustainability and the world’s poorest people at the heart of any new development agenda.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.