The Millennium Development Goals have been one of the most successful programs in UN history. From 2000-2015, they will have focused about US$500 billion of aid to smart targets, such as dramatically helping humanity to reduce infant mortality and poverty while increasing access to education and clean water.
The process for replacing the MDGs when they expire in 2015 is currently underway. The final list, to be agreed at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, will address the world's biggest problems. The goals could direct at least US$700 billion in foreign aid, representing a great 1-in-15 year opportunity to catalyze enormous positive change by 2030.
The post-2015 development agenda is a complex multi-stakeholder process. The UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network identifies at least seven different UN groups working on the next set of goals. These groups themselves are taking into account more than a thousand suggestions from NGOs, think-tanks and academia, and the input of millions of global citizens.
There is no clear consensus on which goals, if achieved, will do the most good. When we examined the proposals we found that more than 85% of papers that propose goals and targets did NOT consider any economic costs and benefits at all. Broadly speaking, there have been few attempts to explicitly quantify the costs and benefits of proposed post-2015 goals and targets (one exception, for Water and Sanitation is here) - and to the best of our knowledge, there has been no attempt to assess the costs and benefits of goals and targets across multiple sectors.
The aim of the Post-2015 Consensus is to help fill this knowledge gap, providing missing information to the post-2015 debate.
The Post-2015 Consensus is partially funded by the New Venture Fund (US public charity), the Department for International Development (UK Government), and the Australia Consensus Centre (Australian Government).