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SDGs and MDGs

Few would argue with the fact that communications around the post-2015 agenda are a mess.

A unified message, brand, or vision has yet to be decided. Many are still unsure whether the term ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ will survive as the current title for what should come next. Post-2015 is still the most commonly used phrase.

In contrast, the Millennium Development Goals, which have set the development agenda for the last 14 years, have been remarkably successful as a brand.

It helps that this was the first time a clear vision had been set for humanity’s future. It helps even more that there were only 8 clear goals, and 21 targets:

  1. Eradicate hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV, Aids, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

At the moment there are still 17 focus areas for the SDGs, and 169 targets. It is clear that this is unmanageable. There needs to be a concerted effort to simplify and consolidate some of the goals. They need to be ambitious but deliverable.

Figuring out what our priorities really are is key.

The question isn’t ‘where do we go from here?’ We need to work backwards. Asking what we want the world to look like in 2030 and then figuring out how to get there.

This is what has captured people’s imagination over the last week. As we noted in an earlier Portland post, the Social Good Summit’s #2030Now hashtag has appeared in over 80,000 tweets since it first kicked off on 20 September.

This is the most attention the SDG’s have ever received. It shows the importance of having a clear focal point to drive discussion.

If the SDGs have a chance of success we’ll need some strong leadership over the next year. Someone is going to have to make some hard but necessary choices. Let’s have no more than ten goals to get us to 2030.