Showing posts from January, 2017

“As Is” Adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Without Correction Is a Mistake

On September 25, 2015, the United Nation’s General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The 2030 Agenda was hailed by then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as nothing less than “a defining moment in human history.”Many critics, on the other hand, argued that the details of the SDGs – not necessarily their grand ambitions - do not bear close scrutiny.
Leading up to the adoption of the SDGs, the prolonged debate about the goals the world set for 2030 had been heated, fraught with seemingly endless consultations. Nonetheless, in a surprise to many if not most informed observers, the sprawling package of SDGs, including 17 overarching goals and a mind-boggling 169 associated targets, was adopted virtually unchanged from that proposed on August 12, 2014, by the Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly on SDGs.
The SDGs Are Not SMART
In an article in the current issue of the W…

Right Use and Politics in Performance Measurement and Management

In previous posts here (see Ensuring the Right Use of Performance Data: A Cautionary Tale from Health Care, June 26, 2012) and other writings, I have urged the broadening of the scope of inquiry about performance measurement and management (PMM) beyond the “right measures” and the “right delivery” of the information provided by the measures (for example, by such mechanisms as real-time performance dashboards) to the politics of the “right use” of that information. Trained in the social sciences, scholars and practitioners of PMM may think they can exclude politics from their models, thinking that it sullies the discipline of PMM or that politics is the business of other fields. This is a mistake, especially for international development. The necessity of consideration of politics is argued, among many international scholars, by Francis Fukuyama in the first chapter of his 2011 book, The Origins of Political Order.
The requirements of the “right use” recognizes that PMM – and other tech…