The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted in the year 2000 until 2015 as the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions – income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion, while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. It was a pledge to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable to build decent and healthier lives for billions of people and guided development thinking, planning prioritisation and operations since their inception. In recognition of the absence of civil society and marginalised people’s participation in the framing of the MDGs, the principle that guided the formulation of the new set of goals for 2016 onwards, began with a commitment to the principle of “Leave no one behind”.
In the process of contributing to the voices calling for inclusion and participation in decision making at different fora, Praxis has been involved with creating spaces globally, for direct interactions between marginalised groups and policy-makers and those who effect change, as well as similar communities across the world.
With the Sustainable Development Goals being launched in September 2015, and formally adopted by the United Nations lauded as “the people’s agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind” it is the ideal time to reflect on which people are likely to be left behind. Praxis facilitated a Ground Level Panel in this regard, which brought together participants from the previous GLPs, and representatives of vulnerable communities that were part of creating thematic participatory videos, action research and other processes facilitated as part of Voice for Change to influence the post-2015 agenda setting process. This group of fifteen individuals comprising men, women, transgendered persons, able-bodied, disabled, minorities, dalits, and homeless spent two days on 7 and 8 September 2015, taking stock of the SDGs and deliberating recommendations for feasible ways of ensuring inclusion and meaningful participation of all in achieving the SDGs.
The panel looked at each goal, and the indicators that were then proposed, and came up with their own recommendations. The report of the event can be viewed here.