He oversaw implementation of the MDGs, so what does Sir Suma Chakrabarti think of the SDGs that will replace them? Now President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Chakrabarti is a former Permanent Secretary of the UK’s Department for International Development. He gave me his thoughts on the upcoming Addis Ababa Financing for Development Conference, the future role of multilateral development banks in development financing, as well as EBRD’s work amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
CGD Policy Blogs
Nancy Birdsall has given us her five wishes for the Financing for Development conference in July — and I agree with them all. I would say this even if she were not my boss. But all of her wishes are about how we can generate more and better financing in the cause of development. I think we need to do better than that.
Even to an outsider unskilled at parsing the practical import of switching from ‘commit’ to ‘endeavor’ in a non-binding declaration, the latest draft of the Addis Financing for Development text looks very different from the zero draft. The overall shift appears to have been away from making solid commitments, especially with numbers attached. In some cases, that’s a good thing. But it does leave the text looking closer to a vegetarian brunch –lo
Meeting the SDG targets for infrastructure in developing countries is going to cost around USD 1 trillion a year. With official development assistance at around $150 billion, other official flows at $27 billion, and investment in infrastructure with private involvement at about $181 billion, it is clear that the majority of infrastructure finance will have to come from domestic resource mobilization in developing countries (which comes to about $9.2 trillion per year).
New technologies are central to the kind of global progress outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, and those technologies need to reach people in the developing world who can benefit from them. But “technology transfer” is a terrible way to think about the issues involved.
The Sustainable Development Goals should be “ambitious but not ludicrous” says John Norris, a member of the President’s Global Development Council, set up in 2012 to advise the administration on US development policy.
Norris, a former staffer at the UN and USAID, and now at the Center for American Progress, told the CGD Podcast there should be “far fewer goals” than the current 17 and “far fewer targets” (right now there are 169).
I’ve been sitting in lots of meetings and covering paper with lots of ink recently about the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development. And when the topic of aid comes up I nod sagaciously along with others in the room when someone says “well, of course, there won’t be any more aid coming out of the Addis financing conference, it is all about redistributing the pot.” Sometimes I’m the one to write or say it, then have a brief chat about that redistribution before switching to other topics like private finance or trade.
Ending extreme poverty is likely to be one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. So it is a good idea to figure out what that entails. And it turns out that it’s become more complex in the last year or so. That’s because new price data, 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimates, were released in 2014 and the World Bank’s global poverty database, PovcalNet, also had a substantial update.