New policy briefing series provides analysis and practical recommendations on post-2015 development

3 September 2013

A new IDS policy briefing series, After the MDGs, offers policy makers high quality analysis and practical recommendations for shaping development beyond 2015. The seven briefings in the series are based on IDS research and address a number of critical development issues including gender, social protection, participation, sustainability, water and nutrition.

Despite the wide range of subject matter, a common thread that links the briefings together is their focus on people and politics. The authors all argue that improved participation and better coordination will be fundamental to accelerating progress towards the existing goals and in sustaining momentum around the creation of a single and inclusive post-2015 framework.

Improving participation post-2015

One of the criticisms levelled at the existing MDG framework is that it was not inclusive and it failed to properly reflect the needs and realities of the poorest and most marginalised. Based on findings from Ground Level Panels they held in Egypt, Brazil, Uganda and India and their wider participatory research, briefings produced by the IDS and Beyond 2015 convened Participate initiative provide a valuable insight into how a vision for development post-2015 that is shaped by local citizens can be realised.

Adopting a more inclusive approach to future development efforts is also highlighted in the briefing written by IDS' fellows Stephen Devereux and Keetie Roelen. They argue that a post 2015 framework must promote 'Inclusive Social Protection' which would ensure subsistence to all people who need it, whenever they need it.

Putting politics centre stage

Improved participation will also be key to ensuring ownership and accountability at national as well as international level. In their briefing, the STEPS Centre (Social,Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) call for politics to be placed centre stage in discussions around what should replace the MDGs and the future of development more broadly. They argue that the choices that need to be made to ensure a more sustainable future are inherently political and that transformational change will require political strategies that combine top-down regulation and bottom-up mobilisation and new alliances across government, business and civil society interests.

Taking a more coordinated approach

A more coordinated approach will also be required to tackle the multidimensional nature of povertyand inequality. BRIDGE Manager and Senior Gender Convenor Alyson Brody and IDS Fellow Lyla Mehta argue in their respective briefings on water and sanitation and gender equality that progress has been limited by the way in which the current framework deals with issues in silos. In reality, the achievement of one goal is very much dependent on meeting one or all of the other sets of targets, and they are clear that a new framework must articulate a much more integrated and coherent vision.

In order to achieve a more coordinated approach, a post-2015 framework must also support and complement other global targets. Alyson Brody calls for the MDGs successor to reinforce the ambitions on gender equality set out in Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Likewise Lawrence Haddad argues that new goals and targets on nutrition must complement the work of the SUN Movement and the World Health Assembly Targets.