Something else on the Millenium Development Goals

After going through the UN report today, I am still somewhat astonished by the happy-spirited nature of this report. And yes, some goals were reached, but in many aspects we fell far too short of the targets developed in 2001. These goals, in my understanding, are based on a basic need notion of justice. I am wondering about the following, and maybe someone has given this some thought and came up with answers to these questions:

Did the MDGs actually help? Was there a clear change in international or national policy in response to the MDGs in 2001? Did the development aid increase in response to the MDGs?

For example, it could entirely be the case that international capital markets, economic growth and national policies improved some of the basic needs of the poor without any impact from the MDGs themselves.

So, what I am saying is that, at the moment, there is a positive correlation between some MDGs and the fulfillment of basic needs, but is there real evidence for a causal effect from MDGs to the fulfillment of those basic needs or not? For, if there is no causal effect from MDGs to basic needs, then either they a) are unncessary; b) or the wrong approach; c) or, far worse, policy in general has little impact and the “only” thing that really “works” is something else (economic growth ?; international capital markets ?; national policies ?; or what?).

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