New CROP Poverty Brief: The MDGs and Social Policy Innovations from South Asia
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) need to be deepened with comprehensive policies for radical structural reform if human development is to make genuine progress and the MDGs are to materialise equitably, writes Gabriele Koehler.
The MDG, with the ultimate aim of improving human rights and human development, have been in place for a decade. Since 2008, massive financial and food price crises, and the recent resurgence of fiscal austerity politics, coupled with the accelerated frequency of natural disasters and political conflict, are reasons for the shortfalls in their implementation.
But the deeper shortcoming lies in the lack of analytical and policy depth in the initial MDG design. As the moment to rethink or extend their approaches, policy makers are taking a renewed look into the structural causes of poverty, deprivations, vulnerabilities, and exclusions and becoming more attuned to the need to formulate comprehensive policies for structural reform.
In South Asia innovations include policies to create employment and wage incomes, policies addressing income poverty, social exclusion, and policies for access to information. These policies have in common that they are rights based and government-led and -funded. If these policy innovations are twinned with progressive, employment-oriented economic policy and coupled with redistributive tax reform, they can serve to accelerate the systemic reform needed to achieve the MDGs.