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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Governance and Institutions Viewpoint, Crosta

Viewpoint Paper

Crosta points to the two new Goals of governance and inequality as being especially innovative and potentially transformative (while also being very controversial). It will be essential to make explicit the relation between these two Goals: governance and (in)equality as interdependent, mutually reinforcing factors. The post-2015 Agenda could and should recognize the governance-inequality nexus in two ways.

First, the narrative that will accompany the final sets of Goals will be critical to express a compelling new vision for global development. A powerful way to do so will be to emphasize that combined progress in terms of governance/institutions and reduction of inequality is essential to the future of our planet, just like addressing poverty or climate change.

Second, the targets and indicators being defined to measure progress under the governance and the inequality Goals could and should be designed to be mutually reinforcing. On the one hand, inequality targets/indicators could single out dimensions of inequality that can be explicitly linked to and measured as benchmarks of ‘effective, accountable and inclusive institutions’. On the other hand, governance targets/indicators could focus on assessing progress on those specific aspects of institutional settings and practices that are more conducive to inclusive development and the reduction of inequality.

As an example of how to operationalise this, the post-2015 Agenda could aim at measuring progress on governance in terms of empowerment of sub-national authorities: a dimension of governance/institutional development that is essential to equitable service delivery. Within the inequality Goal, targets and indicators could be set to measure how equal (or not) is progress across territories in key outcome areas such as education and health (for example in terms of rural-urban divides).