'You can't just throw money at a problem and solve it'

How is the current debate over the post-2015 agenda different from the process that created the Millennium Development Goals back in 2000?

There has been a fundamental change in mindset and language, as well as a general awareness that development must be sustainable or else efforts are futile, United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin said in an interview with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar at the European Development Days in Brussels.

“We’ve all learned that you can’t just throw money at a problem and solve it, you have to change the way you think about the problem. you have to think about new solutions, and you have to engage all kinds of players,” she said. “We don’t have enough money, and we never will, so you have to empower different organizations and individuals to be problem-solvers for themselves.”

Calvin added that another major issue now — that wasn’t as much there before — is where ownership lies.

“It’s no longer about donors giving aid to recipients, it’s about a partnership of both sides, and both sides have to take responsibility and plan for it,” she said.

Check out the full video above for more insights from the U.N. Foundation chief on how they are engaging all sorts of their partners in their quest to draw up truly sustainable goals to replace the MDGs once the latter expire in 2015.

Devex was at the European Development Days 2013. Check out our coverage of Europe’s leading global development event of the year.

About the author

  • Carlos Santamaria

    Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.

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