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Submitted by Raj Raina on
Hi Shanta, Thank you for your blog. I am a regular reader. My question in response to your statement - how can we measure progress if we don't know the initial starting point and therefore the target we are trying to achieve at the country level? If today you visit mdgs.un.org website the tables with the available data is surprising empty. I will provide some examples to make the point. 1.1 Population below $1 (PPP) per day, percentage half of 1990. In order to figure out if a country will meet the target you need to divide 1990 level of poverty by 2 and determine the 2015 target. However, there no data on the above website from 1990 to 1995 for: Zimbabwe; Togo; Swaziland; Sudan; Somalia; Seychelles; Sao Tome and Principe; Rwanda; Reunion; Mozambique; Mauritius; Malawi; Liberia; Gambia; Gabon; Ethiopia; Eritrea; Equatorial Guinea; Djibouti; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Congo; Comoros; Chad; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Benin; Angola. The same is true for these indicators: 1.8 Children under 5 moderately or severely underweight, percentage half of 1990. How can we know what half if we don't know 1990? 1.9 Population undernourished, percentage half of 1990 Same here? 4.1 Children under five mortality rate per 1,000 live birthsone third of 1990. What is a third? 5.1 Maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births 75% less than 1990. Completely empty... 6.61 Notified cases of malaria per 100,000 population less 1990 level Other indicators are not quantifiable so I have left them out. I understand data is very hard to gather and efforts are being made to improve data collection etc But what baffles me is how can the world leaders agree upon achieving MGDs when they don't know what they have to achieve? (Yes, at the regional level we can come up with aggregate figures but at the national level it seems we don't know what are target should be)