It is refreshing to see the attention being given to inequalities in the post-2015 development discussions, and the strong support being given to this topic by prominent development experts such as through the recent letter
sent to the high level panel from economists, academics and development experts that was previously circulated on this list (http://www.post2015hlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Dr-Homi-Kharas.pdf). This is an idea whose time has finally come.
But I'd also like to add that a fundamental aspect of inequalities is inequality in voice. Much of the discussion on the post-2015 agenda is still dominated by experts and by political elites. The message on inequality will carry more weight, and will be more legitimate if it was also backed up by grassroots support i.e. the voices of the poor
themselves. I think it is important that whatever is done in the name of the excluded also include, as far as possible, the voices of the excluded.
A central part of addressing inequalities once the post-2015
agenda is agreed will need to be listening and responding to the needs and aspirations of the people for whom we are advocating, even when their aspirations are not always congruent with our own. Similarly governments who are charged with implementing the post-015 agenda should ultimately be accountable to their populations for their action or inaction, rather than to experts or technical and intergovernmental bodies. This accountability can be
strengthened by greater participation of the excluded.
I'd therefore urge that in advocating for inequality to be a goal in the new post-2015 development agenda that we should also be advocating for more equal participation and accountability to the poor as a means to achieve it.
As you may know the UN and civil society are working together to help foster a “global conversation” on the post-2015 agenda known as “World We Want 2015” which is hosted online at http://www.worldwewant2015.org. This also hosts the online component of the Global Thematic consultations and the national consultations being supported by the UN Development Group. In addition the UN, The World Wide Web Foundation, ODI and Ipsos MORI have organized a global vote on the post-2015 agenda known as
The UNDG recently released a report which summarizes the inputs received to date through these consultations and also made available all the raw data on which this is based so that it can be downloaded and used by researchers – see here http://www.worldwewant2015.org/the-global-conversation-begins
I'd like to encourage you all to individually share your
views on the "World We Want" public conversation platform supported by and use it as an additional avenue to advocate for the inclusion of inequality and the voices of the poor in the post-2015 agenda, but also to ask for your help to
share widely the two platforms and encourage others to participate in them to share their views and to help us reach out beyond our usual audiences of development experts.
Team Leader, Knowledge Management, Monitoring and Evaluation
UN Development Operations Coordination Office
One UN Plaza, DC1-16-48,
New York, NY 10017
The United Nations Development Group