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Open up development post-2015, urges ONE

The drive to end extreme poverty can be accelerated if openness and the views of citizens in developing countries are made central to policy making, according to a report published today. ONE has joined with other organisations to call on the UN High Level Panel, co-chaired by David Cameron, to engage with citizens from around the world in designing and monitoring the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs, which expire in 2015, have contributed to unprecedented success in the fight against global poverty. Cameron and the other co-chairs  – President Yudhoyono of Indonesia and President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia – will meet members of the Panelin Monrovia this week to consider their recommendations to the UN Secretary-General on the post-2015 development framework.

ONE’s new report, ‘Open for Development,’ makes five concrete recommendations to the High Level Panel to ensure greater transparency in both the design and implementation of the post-2015 goals.

Adrian Lovett, ONE’s Europe Executive Director said:

“The MDGs have been the main engine for the world’s fight against poverty, hunger and disease, and they’ve taken us a long way. David Cameron and his co-chairs now have an opportunity to inject new fuel for the next stage of the journey.

“In the last thirteen years, the world has changed. In setting a new path for development, it is essential that people directly affected are asked what matters most.  They need the data and tools to measure progress towards development goals, and to hold governments and other agencies to account.

“An open and transparent process, in the setting and monitoring of any goals, will make them even more effective than those we have seen in the past. In this way we can match the necessary resources to people’s real priorities and move towards a day when aid is no longer needed.”

The report also calls for new investments in open statistics that empower citizens and policymakers. It gives the example of the World Bank’s open data tool, BOOST, which allows easy, user-friendly access to public spending data, as the sort of programme that should be rolled out in more countries and to more people. The report notes that up-to-date and accurate data is the foundation for effective policy implementation and that the necessary data should be collected and distributed in a way that prioritises the requirements of those who will need to use it to hold governments to account.

The report’s five main recommendations are that:

  • the UN Secretary-General’s report in September 2013 include concrete proposals for ensuring that input from citizens in developing countries form the core of the new framework;
  • all UN Member States regularly report on money spent in attempts to achieve the development goals agreed;
  • all UN Member States commit to work to improve developing countries ability to record and report on results regarding the goals;
  • all UN Member States commit to identifying, creating and publicising opportunities for citizens to engage in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of efforts related to achieving the agreed goals; and
  • that the UN, the world Bank, or other appropriate bodies, establish user-friendly public platforms that provide relevant data in line with emerging standards for open data.

Notes to Editors:

  • The High Level Panel of 26 members is part of the UN Secretary-General’s post-2015 initiative mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit. The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals, as agreed at the Rio +20 conference. The reports of both groups will be submitted to the UN Secretary General and to UN Member States for their further deliberation.
  • The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. They expire in 2015.
  • The report “Open for Development: Achieving Greater Post-2015 Results through an Open Process, Monitoring System and Data Portals can be downloaded here. It is a joint report from ONE with Development Initiatives, Integrity Action, the International Budget Partnership, Publish What You Fund, the Revenue Watch Institute and Transparency International.
  • ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organisation co-founded by Bono and backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org.