Reuters, courtesy the Thomson Reuters Foundation – AlertNet
Jan 30, 2013
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today released his annual letter on development priorities. In previous letters, Gates has talked of reducing poverty, addressing hunger, and eliminating diseases. Yet, to do any of this well, Gates argues that organizations must measure what works, examine failures and make steps to improve practices. Thus, this year’s theme is measuring success.
"As 2015 approaches, the world is taking a hard look at how it is doing on the goals. Although we won’t achieve them all, we’ve made amazing progress, and the goals have become a report card for how the world is performing against major problems affecting the poor. The MDG target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached ahead of the deadline, as has the goal of halving the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water. Living conditions for more than 200 million slum dwellers have also improved – double the target. Some goals, however, were set at such an ambitious level that they will be missed. For instance, while we have reduced the number of mothers who die during childbirth by almost 50 percent – which is incredible – we will, however, fall short of the goal of a 75 percent reduction."
To highlight this theme of goal setting for 2030, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched an advance campaign called “My Hope for 2030.” The campaign is designed to get responses from everyone on: What positive change do you hope to see for the next generation?
Looking at what has been achieved and what still needs to be tackled, Gates’ letter then looks forward to the next 15 years. The two challenges Gates outlines are "the possibility that we won’t be able to raise the funds needed to pay for health and development projects, and that we won’t align around clear goals to help the poorest.” He argues that we must address these challenges by not just looking at the money invested, but the tangible outcomes – the lives saved. By looking at what is being done right and making improvements, Gates seems confident that real progress can be made by 2030.
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