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Assessing Asia's progress on MDGs

Sep 22, 2008

The Compilation of MDG Case Studies: Reflecting Progress and Challenges in Asia by the UN Millennium Campaign is a timely publication in run-up to the UN High-Level Event on MDGs. These case studies aim to review governments’ existing policy measures and outline recommendations to accelerate progress in the region.

The Compilation of MDG Case Studies: Reflecting Progress and Challenges in Asia (See the report attached below)

Publisher: The Millennium Campaign, 2008

The year 2008 is marked as the midpoint for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

As part of the contribution to the UN High-Level Event MDGs, the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), in partnership with a range of non-state actors including the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), has compiled a selection of case studies from a number of public hearings and poverty tribunals, which were organised to review the achievement and shortfalls of the MDGs.

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The campaign and policy advocacy work strives to strengthen people’s influence on elected officials and political leaders to enhance political will to accelerate MDG progress in Asia.

The UNMC has worked to increase public awareness of the MDGs so that governments could be held to account.

The compilation of MDG case studies and policy recommendations simply demonstrates standpoints of civil society and relevant stakeholders, including some UN agencies, in the development process.

The case studies are divided into six sections:

•    Poverty and Hunger
•    Education
•    Gender
•    Health
•    Environment Sustainability
•    Governance and Social Accountability

A number of public hearings on MDG progress and poverty reduction were organised in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Bangladesh: The civil society national coalition led the discussion on various aspects of MDGs, including agriculture and food security, land rights for indigenous communities and inequitable access to education and basic health services for tea garden workers.

India: Various public hearing and poverty tribunals have been organised by civil society partners, including the People’s Tribunal on National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the State Level Farmers’ Conference in Bihar, the People’s Tribunal in Jharkhand, the Public Hearings at the state and district levels in Rajasthan and the National Consultation on MDGs and the Socially Excluded.

Nepal: The People’s Assembly against Hunger and Poverty was led by a civil society coalition with a wide participation of the marginalised and excluded population, including dalits, landless and small farmers, ethnic minorities and women of these groups. The People’s Assembly announced the declaration on food security, respect of economic, social and cultural rights and basic social services, including education and health and water and sanitation.

Pakistan: The MDG case study on Katchi Abadis (squatter settlements) emphasises the good practices and lessons learnt from innovative and low-cost responses to informal settlement.

Also, these case studies from different countries across South Asia highlight the significance of women’s participation in the social and development process.

Key recommendations

• Use the High-Level Event as a platform to identify sustainable initiatives to address the issues of poverty and hunger

• Enhance agricultural productivity and employment generation

• Strengthen commitment to the MDGs based on the integration of MDG targets into national and sub-national policy and legal framework as well as budgetary priority

•  Establish MDG legislative committee to promote structural response and mainstream the MDGs within the policy-making body of the government

•  Promote targeted investment of public resources for basic social services with particular attention to education, health and water and sanitation

•  Promote participatory local monitoring of MDGs

•  Localise and communicate MDGs to communites

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