From the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals: shifts in purpose, concept, and politics of global goal setting for development

Publication date

04 Mar 2016

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) differ from the MDGs in purpose, concept, and politics. This article focuses on the gender agenda in the SDGs as a reflection on the shifts from the MDGs to the SDGs. It argues that the SDGs address several of the key shortcomings of the MDGs and incorporate a broader and more transformative agenda that more adequately reflects the complex challenges of the 21st century, and the need for structural reforms in the global economy. The SDGs also reverse the MDG approach to global goal setting and the misplaced belief in the virtues of simplicity, concreteness, and quantification. While the SDGs promise the potential for a more transformative agenda, implementation will depend on continued advocacy on each of the targets to hold authorities to account. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.