Learning Curves: Setting a Development Agenda for Asia and the Pacific in the Post-MDG Era

Evaluation Document | 22 May 2013

This Learning Curves discusses the evaluation of ADB's support for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) draw to a close, practitioners are looking back on the MDG experience and its achievements to help inform a post-2015 development agenda, and this is already the subject of an intense global debate.

All countries in Asia and the Pacific adopted the MDGs, and the region contributed more than its share to global progress on reducing extreme poverty. While Asia is doing particularly well in this respect, progress on human development indicators and environmental sustainability has been rather less robust, most notably in the areas of infant and maternal health, reducing hunger, basic sanitation, and reversing the trend of carbon emissions.

The region's biggest achievement of the MDG-era has undoubtedly been reducing extreme poverty by half, the first Millennium goal. Even so, Asia and the Pacific continue to account for two-thirds of the world's extreme poor, concentrated in South Asia. Getting over that hump will be one of the foremost challenges of a new agenda for the region.

This Learning Curves discusses the evaluation of ADB's support for achieving the MDGs. It assesses how Asia and the Pacific are advancing the MDGs, the effectiveness of ADB's support to developing member countries for achieving them, and the emerging issues for a new development roadmap for the region. It also seeks to answer a question that will be crucial for that agenda: does setting goals make a difference to development results?