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Development Community, Governments Should Focus On Most Cost-Effective SDG Targets

Project Syndicate: The Mis-Measure of Development
Bjørn Lomborg, visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

“…[T]oday’s development agenda is trying to be all things to all people. The MDGs worked because they were few in number and sharply focused. The SDGs comprise an eye-watering 169 targets, which means there is no focus at all. … Countries themselves are now doing the prioritization that the U.N. failed to do. They cannot possibly achieve all 169 targets at once, so they focus on only some of them. The real danger is that their selection will not be those targets that could do the most good per dollar, pound, rupee, or peso spent, but those that have the most media appeal, NGO attention, or corporate interest. We need to strip back the development agenda to its core issues, and focus on those areas where each dollar spent can achieve the most for humanity. Only by doing so can a scorecard help us maximize development progress” (10/18).

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