The Copenhagen Consensus Centers Post 2015 Consensus

The Copenhagen Consensus Center’s Post-2015 Consensus

The Opportunity: A once-in-a-generation chance to set a vision for the future

Over the next year, the UN will be determining what replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The final list, due in September 2015, will set development priorities for the next 15 years and cover the world’s biggest problems: poverty, health and more. The goals will influence a large part of $2.5 trillion in foreign aid, government spending and philanthropic resource. This represents a great 1-in-15 year opportunity to set priorities that will lead to enormous positive change by 2030.

Overall, the original MDGs were quite successful with several targets reached on or ahead of time. Part of this is attributable to the simplicity of the goals - 18 targets set out in 374 words - which helped focus effort on some of the world’s biggest problems.

However, the current discourse points towards a less concise outcome. The final United Nations’ Open Working Group document, for example uses 4,369 words to set out 169 targets across 17 goals. If the global community does not prioritize, and trim down this list, we risk wasting a rare opportunity.

The post-2015 Consensus: Identify the most effective targets

The Copenhagen Consensus Center’s Post-2015 Consensus project is working with the 62 teams of the world’s top economists to identify the most effective targets – the ones that if reached will generate the greatest benefits given the costs - within 19 core issue areas. Additionally, we have the participation of NGOs, UN agencies and the private sector providing comments on our findings, ensuring we cover many different points of view.

Over the course of 2014 we will be releasing the papers written by these economist and experts together as topical research sets for each of the 19 core issue areas. After all the research has been published, an expert panel consisting of Nobel Laureate economists will weigh up the economic, social and environmental benefits and costs of all targets discussed for the post-2015 development agenda to form final recommendations.

The UN’s decision on choosing goals will definitely rest on a number of factors, not just costs and benefits – but knowing this provides an import piece of information.
If we could replace a goal that saves 1 life for every $500,000 spent, with a goal that saves 10 lives for the same amount, we will do much more good over the next 15 years!

About the Copenhagen Consensus Center

For more than 10 years, the Copenhagen Consensus Center has been helping governments and development agencies spend more effectively to solve the world’s biggest problems. We are at the forefront of the post-2015 debate, for example our report rating each target of the OWG’s Final Outcome document based on benefit-to-cost has been highly praised within the development community. As of September 2014, over 100 articles have been published in media outlets around the world about our post-2015 research.

Post Archive

18 May 2015
In rich countries, the biggest causes of death are strokes, heart attacks and cancer, accounting for more than two-thirds of all deaths. But for the poorer world, people often…
08 May 2015
Ebola has gotten much of the attention in 2014, and it has killed about 8,000 people. Over the same period of time, however, about 4 million people died from AIDS, tuberculosis (…
06 May 2015
Air quality has improved dramatically in rich countries over the past century. Around 1880, when the air was worst in London, it is estimated that 9,000 people died each year from…
04 May 2015
There are plenty of things, which those of us lucky enough to live in the industrialized world take for granted; running water and flush toilets are among the most basic of these…
09 April 2015
Corruption last year cost the world more than one trillion dollars. That is a trillion dollars we can’t use to get better health care, education, food and environment. And…
19 March 2015
The latest research from The Post-2015 Consensus' asks what is the best way to reduce waste and increase food security? Almost one-quarter of all food in the world is lost…
17 March 2015
The Copenhagen Consensus Center has just released its latest research on Poverty targets for the post-2015 development agenda. Extreme poverty – or living on less than $1.25…
26 February 2015
The latest research series from The Post-2015 Consensus' asks how we can feed the over 800 million people who go to bed hungry every night. The world faces many problems, and…
16 February 2015
The thirteenth research series from The Post-2015 Consensus' asks how we can improve women’s health and save more than 14m children from dying before 2030? We have…
09 February 2015
The twelfth research series from The Post-2015 Consensus' is focused on Infrastructure targets for the post-2015 development agenda. Professor Emmanuelle Auriol and Alexia Lee…
05 February 2015
The Post-2015 Consensus' eleventh set of papers explore the value of gender equality, and what it may mean for society at large. The Copenhagen Consensus Center has just…
15 January 2015
The Post-2015 Consensus' tenth set of papers explore the value of biodiversity, and estimate the benefits and costs of conservation. Biodiversity – the range of species…
09 January 2015
The Post-2015 Consensus' ninth set of papers focuses on climate change, why it is important and what targets should be set. Climate change has certainly received immense…
04 December 2014
The Post-2015 Consensus' latest set of papers suggest setting universal access to sexual and reproductive health services as a target for the post-2015 development agenda and…
01 December 2014
The Post-2015 Consensus' seventh set of papers unpick the argument that promoting free trade as a target for the post-2015 development agenda could make everyone in the world…