Fellows on our part-time PhD programme (GPAC2) work for governments and international bodies around the world. Their day jobs land them at the centre of events in geopolitical hotspots, meaning they are often better informed than even the best connected journalists. In this new series, we speak with alumni and fellows about historic events, hot topics and how their PhD research helped them in their careers. This time we asked PhD alumnus Joe Abah about his new role in the Nigerian Government.
On 30 May 2013, the High-Level Panel assembled by the UN Secretary General published its recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda. The document outlines both a general view on the future of global development (culminating in the five ‘big, transformative shifts’) and a list of goals and targets to follow up on the original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The new list is longer than the original: there are now 12 instead of eight goals, and 53 instead of 21 targets. Two clear observations can be drawn from this sheer rise in numbers. First, the increase may be interpreted as an indication of a wider and higher level of ambition. Coming from this group of eminent persons, including many political leaders, this is a positive factor. Despite attracting various critiques, the MDGs have been a positive focusing device for policy and thinking about policy. By increasing the scope of goals, this focusing function is potentially stronger because it will affect a larger set of relevant issues.