MDGs and Results-Based Approach

It should be recalled that the prevailing approach of Managing for Development Results (MfDR) or Results-Based Management (RBM) has its philosophical origins almost 50 years ago with Peter Drucker’s 1964 book “Managing for Results.” Results frameworks originated in 1971 with the United States Agency for International Development’s first logical framework as a project design and monitoring tool. From 1975 to 1995, the logical framework was adopted by most bilateral donors and was made more results-focused with the addition of the results chain. In the 1990s, the approach spread in two directions: from individual projects to overarching programs and whole organizations; and outside of the international development arena to a whole of government approach in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other countries, such as Malaysia[1].

Nevertheless, the aftermath of the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the International Community in September 2000, was a huge landmark in the quest for development actions, on a global scale, which focus on real measurable impacts, with timeline framework in countries and precised main lines of actions. The ten sets of development goals, while declaring the absolute pursuit of poverty reduction as most essential in international development, emphasized a multi-dimensional perspective and was framed in terms of results-based management [2]. Within the MDGs framework the inevitable question of How would we know we have succeeded? arose when the agreement to  focus on addressing seven specific aspects of poverty was made. This question brought the expected new dimension, and added to the fact that the United Nations, as at year 2000, was just getting deeper into a system-wide reform that focused on real impacts, measurable action and real development results in Member States. In the same vein, the strong willingness to combat poverty and related issues buttress the firmer engagements by both the developed and developing countries on the MDGs, instilling a common sense of responsibility by Heads of Governments to achieve the set goals by the time-line of 2015.




[1] Culled from Sarah Bilney, Lydia Domingo, Anuradha Rajivan, Susann Roth, Yukihiro Shiroishi, and Bernard Woods (2013), Building Development Effectiveness Post-2015:A Results-Based Approach, ADB Sustainable Development Working Paper Series (N° 26) August 2013 P3

 [2] David Hulme Brooks (2009) Governing Global Poverty? Global Ambivalence and the Millennium Development Goals (06 May 2009 short version) World Poverty Institute, and Institute for Development Policy and Management University of Manchester