Health in 2015: from MDGs to SDGs

Health in 2015: from MDGs to SDGs
December 2015 :: 204 pages
ISBN 978 92 4 156511 0
Pdf of full report:

This report aims to describe global health in 2015, looking back 15 years at the trends and positive forces during the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era and assessing the main challenges for the coming 15 years.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is of unprecedented scope and ambition, applicable to all countries, and goes well beyond the MDGs. While poverty eradication, health, education, and food security and nutrition remain priorities, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprise a broad range of economic, social and environmental objectives, and offer the prospect of more peaceful and inclusive societies.

Progress towards the MDGs, on the whole, has been remarkable, including, for instance, poverty reduction, education improvements and increased access to safe drinking-water. Progress on the three health goals and targets has also been considerable. Globally, the HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria epidemics were “turned around”, child mortality and maternal mortality decreased greatly (53% and 44%, respectively, since 1990), despite falling short of the MDG targets.

During the MDG era, many global progress records were set. The MDGs have gone a long way to changing the way we think and talk about the world, shaping the international discourse and debate on development, and have also contributed to major increases in development assistance. However, several limitations of the MDGs have also become apparent, including a limited focus, resulting in verticalization of health and disease programmes in countries, a lack of attention to strengthening health systems, the emphasis on a “one-size-fits-all” development planning approach, and a focus on aggregate targets rather than equity.

The 17 goals and 169 targets, including one specific goal for health with 13 targets, of the new development agenda integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development around people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The health goal is broad: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Health has a central place as a major contributor to and beneficiary of sustainable development policies. There are many linkages between the health goal and other goals and targets, reflecting the integrated approach that is underpinning the SDGs. Universal health coverage (UHC), one of the 13 health goal targets, provides an overall framework for the implementation of a broad and ambitious health agenda in all countries.

Monitoring and review of progress will be a critical element of the SDGs. An indicator framework is still being developed and is scheduled to be adopted in 2016.