Child Development as a Cornerstone for All Development: How Will It Be Reflected in the Post-2015 Development Agenda?

Jun 12, 2013 |
2015 will be a watershed year for the global development community. It is the year when the current commitments under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire. It will also be a year when new development commitments for the post-2015 period will be agreed.

To quote the Statement of National Policy in the Action Plan on Children in Adversity: “The Plan is grounded in evidence that shows a promising future belongs to those nations that invest wisely in their children, while failure to do so undermines social and economic progress. Child development is a cornerstone for all development, and is central to U.S. development and diplomatic efforts.”

The High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda recently issued its recommendations [PDF, 3.4MB] for an overall framework and 12 goals to succeed the MDGs through 2030. This report is designed as a starting point for debate and discussion over the next 2 years.

A number of efforts are currently under way to ensure that children’s wellbeing is adequately reflected in this agenda. UNICEF has drafted key messages, which are available here [PDF, 696KB]. The international child protection community has also released a joint statement [PDF, 1.58 MB], specifying goals and targets. 

In addition, the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development is in the process of assessing this 2015 development nexus from the perspective of the early childhood development community. Positioning Early Childhood Development in the Post-2015 Development Framework [PDF, 178KB], a background paper, provides an overview of the influences and processes that are shaping the priorities on the post-2015 development agenda. 

Similarly, the Institute of Medicine has released a commentary [PDF, 361KB] written by three participants in the Investing in Young Children Globally planning meeting held in March. In it, the authors argue that the post-2015 development agenda should include an integrated goal on early childhood development. They propose targets and indicators that span the sectors of nutrition, economics, education, health and social protection. Indeed, 9 of their 12 proposed targets appear in the just-released recommendations of the High-Level Panel. The authors welcome comments on the proposed goal and targets, as well as ideas for action steps to ensure that the world’s youngest children are embraced and supported by the global development agenda for the next two decades.