Tracking progress on the MDGs

Earlier this month talk on the internet (or at least the small blip of the internet talking about development) was focused on the UN’s 2013 Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual update on the world’s progress to achieve the MDGs. The tone of the report is that big strides have been made to achieve the MDGs, and that many are within reach by 2015. At 68 pages I found the report quite difficult to digest. I was more interested in taking a look at individual indicator trends at the regional and country level. Fortunately for me I recently discovered that the World Bank has put together an MDG dashboard that provides some great interactive ways to explore the data that makes up the MDG update.

What struck me (and won’t surprise most of our readers) with this dashboard, beyond further cementing my liking of data visualisation, was the paucity of the data for many countries that adds together to formulate these MDG trends. Take a look for yourself on the trends and projections pages.

The dashboard shows most of the smaller, and particularly fragile, states (that receive a large portion of Australian aid) either don’t have data or realistically have no chance of achieving many of the MDGs by 2015. Worth keeping in mind given the hype around global trends.

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Jonathan Pryke

Jonathan Pryke worked at the Development Policy Centre from 2011, and left in mid-2015 to join the Lowy Institute, where he is now Director of the Pacific Islands Program. He has a Master of Public Policy/Master of Diplomacy from Crawford School of Public Policy and the College of Diplomacy, ANU.

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