ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals (Southern Voice) is a network of 48 thinks tanks from Africa, Asia and Latin America, which serves as an open platform to make contributions to the international discourse on what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Southern Voice initiative addresses the existing “knowledge asymmetry” and “participation deficit” in the ongoing post-MDG debate by disseminating evidence-based policy analyses by researchers from countries of the Global South. All members of the network are or at some point were awardees of the multi-donor Think Tank Initiative (TTI).
The Emergence of Southern Voice
The idea to launch the initiative was taken at a TTI awardees meeting in Cape Town, South Africa (18-20 June 2012). An expert group meeting (EGM) held in Dhaka (10-12 January 2013) endorsed the activity plan of the initiative, elected a steering committee and the immediate inputs to be sent to the UN High Level Panel on Post-MDGs.
Southern Voice’s document First Approximations on Post-MDG International Development Goals was shared with key authors of the High Level Panel (HLP) Report as well as with the advisors to the members of the HLP.
Till date, Southern Voice has addressed multiple national, regional and global platforms, highlighting its perspectives on post-2015 issues.
- Provide a platform for formulating and exchanging novel ideas on post-2015 issues that are grounded on the realities of the developing world.
- Strengthen the participation of Southern researchers in the post-2015 debate by improving their analytical contributions and strategic engagements.
- Create opportunities for Southern think tanks to explore global development debates in respective national contexts.
- Build research and outreach capacities of Southern think tanks to facilitate their emergence as key players in the global dialogue on the post-2015 agenda.
One of Southern Voice’s core activities since its inception in June 2012 has been facilitating the generation of original research studies by Southern experts on various aspects of the post-2015 development agenda, such as the missing dimensions of the MDGs, ways to mitigate previously encountered challenges in delivering on aspired goals, and new issues, goals, targets and indicators that are crucial for the next global development framework.
Apart from rendering grants to think tanks from the Global South to produce quality research, Southern Voice is engaged in collaborative research projects such as Post-2015 Data Test: Unpacking the Data Revolution at the Country Level, and the Fifth European Report on Development.
Dhaka Expert Group Meeting: Setting the Agenda
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) is spearheading in a new global initiative titled Southern Voice on Post-MDGs. The initiative involves 49 think tanks drawn from South Asia, Africa and Latin America. All these think tanks are awardees of the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) – a facility created through contributions from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and bilateral donors, and managed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa.
As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches the deadline of 2015, the international development community is focusing on the one hand, on the experiences gathered so far regarding the implementation of MDGs, and, on the other, articulation of post-MDG framework, issues and targets. Taking note of the global power imbalance, knowledge asymmetry and MDG delivery experience, theSouthern Voice on Post-MDGs seeks to channel its inputs from developing countries’ perspectives into the ongoing global discussions on post-MDGs (2015). This initiative intends to leverage the evidenced-based knowledge and policy experience in the South on think tanks to influence the emerging global development agenda.
The initiative was first conceived in a meeting of Southern think tanks in Cape Town, South Africa in June 2012. Since then, CPD has further conceptualised the initiative and prepared its programme document. This was followed by two Webinars (web-based conferences) involving experts from three continents in November and December 2012. The Southern Voice initiative was launched to the official stakeholders as well as to the larger development community. Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, CPD is the Convener of the Southern Voice on Post-MDGs
In order to take the initiative to its next level, an expert group meeting is being convened in Dhaka on 11-13 January 2013. The meeting will articulate the agenda and identify a set of activities to be undertaken by the Southern Voice on Post-MDGs in 2013 and 2014. Immediate inputs for the official (UN High Level Panel’s) consultation process on post-MDGs will also be considered at the meeting. Besides researchers of a number of Southern think tanks, UN officials and a number of experts having demonstrated expertise on MDG-related issues are to take part in the Dhaka meeting.
The various sessions of the two-day event will cover areas such as (i) Framework, Issues and Challenges of Post-MDGs; (ii) The Unfinished Agendas of MDGs; (iii) Issues for the Future; (iv) Prospects of Global Partnership and Resource Mobilisation for Post-MDGs; and (v) The Ongoing Consultation Processes and Interface with the Southern Voice on Post-MDGs Initiative. The meeting will also endorse the activity plan of the initiative and the immediate inputs to be sent to the UN High Level Task Force.