Socioeconomic Reforms, Human Development, and the Millennium Development Goals with ICTs for Coordination

Socioeconomic Reforms, Human Development, and the Millennium Development Goals with ICTs for Coordination

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3643-9.ch010
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Abstract

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is an international effort engaging all countries and mainly the developing ones towards the reduction of health, education, and other deficits by 2015. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have contributed to this global undertaking through the creation of further coordination, evaluation, and monitoring. Their roles can be expanded to better coordinate local and national actions with the overall international efforts. Based mainly on previous findings from available literature, the present chapter illustrates how ICTs have been promoted to ensure these coordination functions.
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Introduction

The results attained in the previous chapters show clearly the extent and magnitude of the levels of interdependencies between different series of socio-economic variables at both regional and country levels. This strengthens the validity of the multidimensional approach to poverty and to wealth as supported by the empirical analyses conducted using a series of variables pertaining to economic, social and other dimensions. The interdependencies assessed within this framework show also that further and meaningful gains can be implicitly expected from the existence and from the consideration of these relationships. Economic and social policies that have been pursued in different developing regions and in each of the countries can therefore benefit from more integration and coordination at local, national, regional and international levels. Major reforms have been undertaken to cover economic, education and health policies besides the further move in democratization in different regions. However, these reforms have not addressed the depth of integration and further coordination among different public organizations and institutions in the economic and social spheres and sectors. Even the development of non-governmental agencies and the inclusion of private sectors in social policies do still appear to be sector specific and is not all the time fully contributing to the transversal nature of the policies that are needed by the populations. While transversal and interdependent needs are easily understood and well perceived by every individual, especially in situation of poverty, these perceptions and signs of the necessary gains from interdependencies are not expressed at the global and macroeconomic levels. Besides that, there are still missing factors and needs that are not identified by individuals that are in situation of vulnerability and poverty. These missing signals and still hidden components, lead to socio-economic policies that suffer from imperfections and inefficiencies with regard to the achievement of social goals focusing on poverty alleviation. Social policies and related poverty programs have been most of the time treated as another sector that compete with the other traditional public sectors. Coordination with other economic and social players (NGOs) can also be conducted within this type of framework increasing thus the likely gains that can be attained from issuing and strengthening transversal policies.

With the amount and the quality of social and economic investigations related to interdependencies among different sectors in different economies and with the specific focuses on the roles of education and health, a large body of knowledge has been accumulated with most of the outcomes of this literature having been reviewed. As a consequence of these accumulations, integrated international policies have been promoted and have led to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals were set on the basis of multidisciplinary approach of poverty as it was conceived at that time from a macroeconomic perspective with the prospect of producing homogeneous and internationally comparable monitoring systems. However, poverty has been occurring under several dimensions that have not been all the time identified as further missing components still have to be revealed. These deficits in both the limitations of the macroeconomic frameworks and the means to pursue measurements are likely to be among the factors that have limited the attainment of some goals in some countries. The further missing dimensions of poverty may also have had negative impacts on the attainment of the objectives. Further research is then needed to overcome the difficulties of not achieving partially or totally the planned goals. However, the MDG policies constitute a framework that embodies higher level of integration and coordination of policies that account not only for income poverty but also for health, education, and other components.

Human development policies are sets of strategic and practical means devoted at the level of each country and region to the assessment of the progress made in monitoring social issues that include poverty and other social deficits. The national programs and strategies need further coordination and integration in order to capture and achieve realistic results.

However, few countries are pursuing localized policies and programs that are globally coordinated at the national and international levels. The multiplicity of players including the role of NGOs besides the involvement of the private and public sectors have often led to inefficiencies.

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