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Last Monday, The Council on Foreign Relations hosted a panel of experts to discuss the Progress of the UN Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Panelists included Mr. Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Planning at the United Nations, Mr. Samuel A. Worthington, President & CEO of InterAction, and Mr. T. Charles Cooper, Vice President for Congressional and Public Affairs at Millenium Challenge Corporation. The panel was moderated by Gail D. Fosler, President of GailFosler Group LLC.
The panel agreed on the point that while a tremendous amount of progress has been made in achieving the MDGs, the progress, thus far, has been uneven. The example that was highlighted both at the UN Summit as well as the by the panel, is MDG 5 which sets out to improve maternal health. Many audience members were curious as to how to effectively tackle the issue of maternal health as well as to continue to make strides towards achieving the remaining seven MDGs. One of the greatest challenges that was cited is the ability to create a model that is both effective and adaptable for new geographies and cultures.Mr. Orr offered BRAC as an example of an international organization that has succeeded in creating an exportable and dynamic model. The panel emphasized the creation of partnerships and on the ground coordination as integral components in achieving the MDGs. In addition, the panel emphasized the importance of impact evaluation in creating and modifying models that are implemented on the ground.