What’s Next For the Post-2015 Development Agenda?

Friday was a big day for the future of global development.

The final report  of the High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda was finally released to the UN Secretary General. Overall, the report hits many of the health priorities ACTION tracks -- tuberculosis, child survival, good nutrition, and vaccination. It seems that the momentum for global health established in the Millennium Development Goals has been maintained, at least at this early stage.

The report specifically highlights some key economic impacts:

  • For every $1 invested in TB treatment and care, up to $30 is gained in increased health and productivity.
  • Childhood nutrition programs reap up to $44.50 in increased future earnings for every $1 spent to reduce stunting.

The report presents a universal agenda, that is, one to be adopted by all countries along the development spectrum, driven by ‘five transformative shifts’. The shift closest to my heart is the first: Leave no one behind, which makes explicit its commitment to finish the work of the Millennium Development Goals and to close the inequality gap by focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable. The report calls for an end to--not just a reduction of-- hunger and extreme poverty, saying “there can be no excuses” for not doing so. Targets will only be considered achieved if met for all income and social groups. To know if we are reaching the hardest to reach, the report calls for disaggregated indicators, which ACTION has been pushing hard for the past six months

A translation of the shifts are presented in the illustrative goals, which give us an idea of how the 2015 goals and architecture might shake out next September. Concrete targets are still being defined. Of the dozen universal goals, of few of note:

Goal 4: Ensure Healthy Lives. This includes targets (among others) for ending preventable infant and under-five deaths, increasing the proportion of kids and adults who are ‘fully vaccinated’ per GAVI’s recommendation, and calls for the reduction of the tuberculosis burden (alongside HIV/AIDS, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and priority non-communicable diseases). Having TB specifically named alongside HIV/AIDS and malaria in the health goal is progress.

Goal 5: Ensure Food Security and Good Nutrition. Targets for nutrition include reduction of stunting, wasting and anemia for kids under five. ACTION is very pleased to see nutrition included as a goal.

The HLP process over the past nine months has been fairly inclusive. In a webcast discussion of the report held on Friday, UN officials and members of the panel praised the report for taking into account the views of some 5,000 people from civil society organizations, and for showing a way forward that is both ambitious as well as practical.

However, advisors close to the process warn that advocates must keep up the pressure after September as the conversations move to the country level to avoid watering down of the goals and targets that appeared in the HLP report. It’s only going to get harder from here, as this report is considered the highwater mark and it is expected that the process will become more insular. There must be continued pressure on member states following the September 2013 UN General Assembly to get the post-2015 development agenda right , and not back down from what appears in the report.

What do you think of the HLP report? Let us know in the comments below. Feel free to cross -post links to blogs on the report below, and check out the Center for Global Development’s first thoughts: