Exploring the foundation: poverty, government sponsors and the MDGs


Wednesday, September 3, 2014


In a TED talk with Jacqueline Novogratz, she outlines the definition of poverty and gives us an important message: we should not consider our progress for aid, and the increase in aid as an end goal.
She says we should see it as ‘Chapter One.’ We should celebrate what we has been accomplished but know that it is just the beginning of progress; that we have to build sustainable programs; that the people who are impoverished can do this and should run this themselves. Poverty, Novogratz said, is the faces of farmers, factory offices, government workers, and many millions of others that work for under a few dollars every day.
Of the many things interesting about Novogratz, I found she has led many TED talks and have shared just a few of them below:

 In this TED talk, Novogratz talks about people who have “immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice.”

This TED talk also focuses on something Novogratz pegs as “patient capitol.”

This TED talk is the one we watched regarding critiques of foreign aid. She prefers entrepreneurial innovation as a method of development.

The Millennium Development Goals is based on eight separate but essential goals and, according to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGS, they are as folllows:
•Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
•Achieve universal primary education
•Promote gender equality and empower women
•Reduce child mortality
•Improve maternal health
•Combat HIV-AIDS, malaria and other diseases
•Ensure environmental sustainability
•Develop a global partnership for development
There are many effects of neo-liberalism to consider when discussing aid. Cutting government spending can increase the opportunity for emerging social movements, such as economic equality while decreasing the living standards of those within both the public and private sector. With businesses cutting benefits and maximizing profit, adverse effects impact the workers and livelihood of the community.
John McArthur also discusses the “key players” contributing to aid in his essay, Own the Goals. Some of the mentioned players are George W. Bush and the State Department. He criticizes the Unites States’ early decisions not to support the Millennium Development Goals because it acted as a key player in developing them. Later administrations have been more vocal of their support for the MDGs. McArthur criticizes the World Bank for similar reasons.
In the article, “How to Help Poor Countries” the authors suggests more involvement of the poor countries because true development, they argue, can only be determined by the country being affected. The authors suggest that we should not ignore other important measures at expense of these aid projects because wealthy countries can only play a limited role with the rest being the poor country in question.
Since we have studied the authors of the others so in-depth, I decided to also look in to the three authors that wrote this article:
Photo by the Center for Global Development

Photo by the Center for Global Development

Nancy Birdsall is the President of the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. According the Center for Global Development, her areas of focus is: development economics, globalism and inequality, the aid system, international financial institutions, education, Latin America as well as climate financing. She has worked for many years at the World Bank, Economic Reform Project and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Photo by the Institute for Advanced Study School of Social Science

Photo by the Institute for Advanced Study School of Social Science

Dani Rodrik is the Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. According to the Institute for Advanced Study, Rodrik is an economist researching globalization, economic growth and development, and political economy. He has taught at Harvard and Columbia.
Photo by the Peterson Institute for International Economics

Photo by the Peterson Institute for International Economics

Arvind Subramanian is the Division Chief in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, he is currently the Chief Economic Advisor for India and has published in numerous publications regarding economics, policy, international development and more.

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