For the next development goals, let’s set ‘ambitious objectives’

Otaviano Canuto, World Bank's vice president for poverty reduction and economic management. Photo by: World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

What can the international community do to make sure no one gets left behind in the next set of development goals?

Set ambitious objectives in terms of social inclusion and economic security, World Bank Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Vice President Otaviano Canuto said Oct. 17 at the fourth Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development World Forum in New Delhi, India. One particular group that has been left out “in many ways,”Canuto noted, are women.

“When women are given economic opportunity, the benefits extend beyond them, to their children, their communities, and economies at large,” he explained.

Poverty reduction must remain on top of the development agenda, Canuto argued. The next goals need to be “truly universal, indivisible, complementary and inclusive,” accompanied with reliable and complete data to monitor progress, guide government policies, measure results and support analysis.

As for the sustainable development goals, Canuto identified five elements that would make them more effective. The SGDs should include:

  • Other factors contributing to a country’s wealth, such as human and social capital.

  • The three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental development.

  • “Geographic differentiation in targets.”

  • A mix of policy and results-based targets.

  • A “more precise, sector-specific goals.”

Integrating the SDGs with the next development goals will help strengthen the link between sustainability and development, Canuto added.

There has been growing interest in the next set of development goals, and Canuto’s recommendations echo those from ActionAid U.K., economist Jeffrey Sachs and Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.