Multidisciplinary team to lead SA's 2015 millennium development goals report


A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the HSRC will lead the drafting of the Millennium Development Goals Country Report 2015, driven by Statistics South Africa. This intensive four-month study will produce the sixth and final South African Country Report, signifying the closing-off of South Africa’s work on the MDGs since these targets were identified at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000.

The HSRC component of the study will also include sector reports on the first seven of the individual goals and how South Africa has fared in terms of the agreed upon global targets. The eight MDGs are:

  • To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
  • To promote universal primary education.
  • To promote gender equality and empower women.
  • To reduce child mortality.
  • To improve maternal health.
  • To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
  • To ensure environmental sustainability.
  • To develop a global partnership for development.

Ms Shirin Motala from the Economic Performance and Development programme (EPD) and Professor Geoff Setswe from the HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB programme (HAST) are leading a team of researchers from the HSRC. The team includes Prof. Thelma Maluleka, Mr Stewart Ngandu, Dr Selma Karuaihe, Dr Ernest Khalema and Dr Andrew Patterson.

The team is tasked with assessing how South Africa has progressed in terms of realising the Millennium Development Goals. The project is housed in the HSRC’s Economic Performance and Development programme.

There has been both intense praise and criticism of the MDG agenda, particularly in Africa where MDG performance has lagged behind other continents, says Motala. Although the MDGs might be coming to the end, and previous country reports suggest mixed success, this does not mean that South Africa will stop its work on tackling local and national developmental challenges.

Governments will gather in September 2015 at the United Nations to adopt a Sustainable Development Goals Agenda (SDGs), aimed at building on the MDGs, with a focus on tackling some of the persistent global challenges of poverty and inequality, and charting a pathway towards the adoption of a holistic and integrated post-2015 development agenda.

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