Telling the Good News Stories about Development

02/07/2013 at 1:49 pm 1 comment

In September this year, the international community meets in New York once more, to “take stock” of the progress towards the world’s anti-poverty goals.

The “Millennium Development Goals” are set to be reached by 2015, and the good news is that the world has made great progress towards their achievement.

Yet, you could be forgiven for not having noticed. For “good news” often does not make it to the news headlines. After all, the media have a natural bias towards the sudden and the dramatic. The slow improvement in living conditions, the gradual increase in school enrolment rates and the steady progress towards the goal to reduce extreme poverty are simply too protracted to make for good media stories.

We are hoping to address this, by highlighting stories of change that illustrate the giant progress that we are making (see this new UN report). In the midst of a crisis in Ireland, it is easy to overlook one of the great untold stories of our time: The world has witnessed greater absolute improvements in health, wealth, and education in the past decade than in any comparable period in human history.

It may not look like that, as too often media and NGO reports highlight the many problems in developing countries, but the overall story of “global development” is a positive one.

  • 2.1 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water;
  • More than 200 million people no longer live in slums.
  • Impressive progress has been achieved in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis;
  • The proportion of the world’s people living in extreme poverty has halved.

This new Facebook page wants to show us the good news stories. The stories posted here, and the statistics produced by the UN, show clearly that we CAN eliminate poverty.

And this phenomenal progress should encourage us to tackle the remaining challenges.

With less than 1,000 days to go to the date that the MDGs are to be achieved, significant challenges remain. One if every 8 people on the planet still go to bed hungry. Too many women die in childbirth, and 2.5 billion people have no access to clean water and sanitation. Global resources are running out, and everywhere people are increasingly confronted with the effects of climate change.

We still have a long way to go. But we are making progress. We know that we can eliminate poverty.

Listen to:

Further reading:

More resources on Communicating Global Development available here

Entry filed under: MDGs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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The World's Best News - images

One of the most important graphs. Ever.
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