Journal Article


Published on 4 September 2013

Each of the articles on the Millennium Development Goals below are free to access online.

IDS has always had something to say about the way development is defined, measured and supported.

From Dudley Seers’ observation that the terms ‘centrally planned’, ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ were not as useful in 1976 as they were thought to be in 1966, to the contributions of Hans Singer (one of which is the goal of 0.7 per cent of GNI to ODA – the most famous non-MDG goal), via the influence of Richard Jolly while at the UN in lobbying for the MDGs, to the analysis of the UN conferences of the 1990s (gender and governance) which built momentum for the MDGs, heeding the call from Simon Maxwell in 1999 about the need for the Goals to uphold the subsidiarity principle, the analysis of how the MDGs were incentivising government and development agency behaviour (e.g. health), through the Reimagining Development project which questioned development assumptions of the past 5–10 years in light of the global financial crisis of 2007–8 and subsequent economic downturn, right the way to our contributions to the post-2015 debate:

  • What difference have the MDGs made at the country level?
  • What do citizens want to see from their governments?
  • and What are the lessons for the next set of goals?

Throughout the papers you will see the thread that makes our work distinct, its political economy focus; critical stance; people-centred view and its desire to bring together multi-cited perspectives. All of these perspectives are going to be critical for the design of the next set of development goals and more importantly for the realisation of the goal and processes of development. We hope you enjoy this goal-orientated ride through the past 40 years of development thinking.

Table of contents

A New Look at the Three World Classification Volume 7, Issue 4, May 1976 Dudley Seers A

The Development of Development Thinking Volume 8, Issue 3, March 1977 Osvaldo Sunkel

Fifty Years On: The UN and Economic and Social Development An Overview Volume 26, Issue 4, October 1995 H. W. Singer, Richard Jolly

What Donors Mean by Good Governance: Heroic Ends, Limited Means, and Traditional Dilemmas of Development Cooperation Volume 26, Issue 2, April 1995 Peter Nunnenkamp

Post Poverty, Gender and Development? Volume 28, Issue 3, July 1997 Cecile Jackson International Targets for Poverty Reduction and Food Security: A Mildly Sceptical But Resolutely Pragmatic View With a Call for Greater Subsidiarity Volume 30, Issue 2, April 1999 Simon Maxwell

Reaching the Health MDGs with Human Resource Reforms: Financial, Educational and Management Capacities Volume 36, Issue 3, July 2005 Thomas Bossert

Poverty, Social Exclusion and the MDGs: The Challenge of ‘Durable Inequalities’ in the Asian Context Volume 37, Issue 3, July 2006 Naila Kabeer

The Impact and Design of the MDGs: Some Reflections Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2010 Richard Manning

The MDGs in Historical Perspective Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2010 Richard Jolly

Taking the MDGs Beyond 2015: Hasten Slowly Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2010 Jan Vandemoortele, Enrique Delamonica

Beyond Business as Usual: What Might 3-D Wellbeing Contribute to MDG Momentum? Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2010 Allister McGregor, Andy Sumner Introduction: Time to Reimagine Development? Volume 42, Issue 5, September 2011 Lawrence Haddad, Naomi Hossain, J. Allister McGregor and Lyla Mehta

Voices: Southern NGO Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals and Beyond Volume 42, Issue 5, September 2011 Amy Pollard, Andy Sumner, Monica Polato-Lopes and Agnès de Mauroy


Image of Lawrence Haddad

Lawrence Haddad

Honorary Associate

Publication details

published by
Haddad, L. et al.
IDS Virtual Bulletin, issue 3