Success factors of global goal-setting for sustainable development: Learning from the millennium development goals

T Hickmann*, F Biermann, M Spinazzola, C Ballard, M Bogers, O Forestier, A Kalfagianni, R. Kim, FS Montesano, T Peek, CA Senit, M van Driel, MJ Vijge, A Yunita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)
47 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were an important precursor to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hence, identifying the conditions that made the MDGs successful enhances our understanding of global goal-setting and informs the global endeavour to achieve the SDGs. Drawing on a comprehensive review of 316 articles published between 2009 and 2018, we identify six factors that have enabled or hindered MDG implementation. Our analysis stresses the importance of path dependencies and shows that the MDGs catalysed changes only for those countries with sufficient resource availability, administrative capacity and economic development, as well as adequate support from external donors. National ownership and NGO pressure bolstered efforts to implement the MDGs. These findings suggest that globally agreed goals do not easily trickle down from the global to the national level. Thus, this article adopts a forward-looking perspective and draws key lessons for the current implementation of the SDGs in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-1225
Number of pages12
JournalSustainable Development
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Sustainable Development published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Research programs

  • ESSB PA

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Success factors of global goal-setting for sustainable development: Learning from the millennium development goals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this