Agriculture / Event / Food Security / ILRIComms / Impact Assessment / Nutrition

On the making of a report card (SDGs) on a report card (MDGs) on the world’s (unfinished) development agenda

‘Leptosome: A person with a slender, thin, or frail body’ (The Project Twins)

This graphic art is from the A-Z of Unusual Words project, a series of works exhibited during Design Week Dublin 2011 and featured in various blogs and magazines; prints are available from an online shop of The Project Twins, a graphic art studio.)

‘Next week will see a key event related to the process to envision the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Government officials will gather in New York for a meeting of the Open Working Group to debate ideas in 19 different areas, including food and nutrition security. By mid-summer, this group will make recommendations to the United Nations General Assembly about a possible next set of development goals for adoption in 2015.

‘Since they were established in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have become a report card for how the world is performing against major problems affecting the poor, and they have helped to drive unprecedented progress for those living in extreme poverty. This progress is real; the MDG aimed at halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been reached ahead of the deadline, as has the goal of halving the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water. . . .

‘. . . [T]hree fourths of the poorest people depend on agriculture for their nutrition and income. But degraded natural resources, limited access to services, information and technology and continual shocks, including severe weather events, are making it hard for these farmers to grow enough food to feed and provide for their families. . . .

‘At the broadest level, we recommend a focus on eliminating hunger by increasing sustainable agricultural productivity. . . . We believe that this should be done in such a way that empowers smallholder farmers, particularly women, protects the environment, and addresses nutritional needs, particularly those of women and children. . . .

We are concerned not only with growing more food while using fewer resources but also with what will be grown, how it will used and whether it will leave us all better off. This is no small task, so what we choose as a goal and the targets that we use to track it are critical.

‘We believe that ‘sustainability’ must be embedded into the post-2015 agenda. . . . Only by acting and thinking holistically will we be able to preserve any progress that we make on food security and nutrition. . . .’

Read the whole opinion piece by Pamela Anderson and Josh Lozman published in the Impatient Optimists Blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Food Security and Nutrition and the Post-2015 Development Goals, 24 Mar 2014.

One thought on “On the making of a report card (SDGs) on a report card (MDGs) on the world’s (unfinished) development agenda

  1. Iain Wright, the ILRI director genera’s representative in Ethiopia and leader of ILRI’s Animal Science for Sustainable Agriculture Program is a member of the ‘Thematic Group 7, on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems’ of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. This network provides technical inputs to political discussions on the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs), now under construction.

    More information and links to our first report and some issue briefs can be found at

    This Thematic Group 7 is led by Achim Doberman, of IRRI, and Rebecca Nelson, a partner of ILRI’s at Cornell University.

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