How to draft 'achievable' SDGs

By Michael Igoe 04 May 2015

For Tony Pipa, the U.S. special coordinator for the post-2015 development agenda, the lack of a “standard level of achievability” for the sustainable development goals is more worrying than the fact that there are numerous goal areas and targets.

What does it take to achieve global agreement around a set of development goals that can both inspire cooperation and provide a blueprint for real action?

International representatives are moving closer and closer to a finalized list of goals and targets that will define a global sustainable development agenda for the next decade and a half.

World leaders will convene in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to mobilize the commitments and compromises to finance that agenda, and in September unveil a final list of sustainable development goals and their associated targets.

Devex spoke with Tony Pipa, U.S. special coordinator for the post-2015 development agenda, to learn why the U.S. government’s development agencies have signed on to a global goal-setting exercise, how the SDGs add value to international development cooperation, and what the U.S. government wants to see on the list as negotiations continue.

That list currently stands at 17 goals and 169 targets, leading many to wonder whether negotiators ought to consider a slimmer, more streamlined outcome.

“There’s still a big degree of variability in the precise nature and even the implementability of them, and that we continue to worry about,” Pipa told Devex.

In partnership with the U.N. Foundation and Fenton, Devex is examining the progress made toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals and U.S. contributions to spur global progress in our special “#GlobalGoalsWork” series. Join the conversation using #GlobalGoalsWork.

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About the author

Igoe michael 1
Michael Igoe@AlterIgoe

Michael Igoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider's perspective.

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