The Millennium Development Goal

A few months ago some of you asked if I would include my comments on Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in APdate. I confess to have kept quiet! Not that there is not much information available but because I have very clear views on MDGs. And you may or may not agree with me!

The MDGs are state based secular development programmes promoted by UN and for Nepal it is ostensibly attributed to have been prepared or proposed by the Government of Nepal. However, in reality the plan would not be accepted by the big donors until it satisfied them! Take for example halving the poverty in Nepal by the year 2015! This is asking for miracle and not human work! Or perhaps by exporting all the economically active population to the Middle-east, Malaysia, Japan or Korea and then counting their remittances in the per capita income or GDP but in the calculations not including those who sent the remittances as they are not living in Nepal! But the poverty target needed to be a minimum of half the prevailing level, any less would not justify the amount the donor would have to provide to keep the operation cost reasonable for the particular expenditure! Providing less than a minimum would mean that the transaction cost of the fund would be too high! The economy of Nepal is basically too small for the big donors to operate or Nepal’s absorption capacity is too low! So the targets need to be high such that a reasonable amount could be spent to justify the operating costs involved.

My argument is that let the countries set their own targets as they would entirely on their own though we know they err and let them learn from their errors. Causing to fix country goals from outside does not improve the countries’ capacity to analyse, internalize and produce correct goals. In fact, it reduces their self-confidence and develops a psyche of dependence for donors’ dictation on what to write so the donors fund the plan or a fear that the donors will not give money!