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“Crowd-Sourcing” the Millennium Development Goals

Maya Brahmam's picture

The open agenda took a new twist a few weeks ago when Jamie Drummond, the Executive Director of ONE, talked about the open agenda at TEDGlobal  by suggesting that post-MDG goals be “crowd-sourced,” i.e., people around the world should have a say in what they think the new MDGs should be. In a recent op-ed in the Globe and Mail, Drummond refers to this as the “bottom-up” poverty plan and notes, “A new plan can avoid the pitfalls of past top-down approaches – if it supports a more bottom-up citizen-led strategy for sustainable development.”

He goes on to say that the upshot of this process is greater citizen empowerment and stronger governance overall. This argument is compelling because new technology, like mobile telephony, makes this kind of “bottom-up” planning easier to do.

Therefore, I was interested to see this week that the UN Secretary-General has appointed a high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda. According to the release, “The Panel will hold its first meeting at the end of September in the margins of the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly.  It is expected to submit a report to the Secretary-General in the first half of 2013.”

Will this panel be able to engage the crowd in this work? It will be interesting to see how “crowd thinking” might influence this process.

Picture Credit: flickr user Britta Bohlinger

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