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Regional themes > Poverty reduction frameworks and critiques Last update: 2020-11-27  

Local ownership of the MDGs: a case study of the Republic of Mauritius

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


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This report was published by the UNDP as part of its "Good practices in support of the MDGs: advancing country-level action" project.
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Local Ownership of the MDGs Helps Advance Equitable and Sustainable Development

Much is made of the need for a country to “own” the MDGs in order to make meaningful progress toward them. What does this look like in practice? Ownership of the MDGs is often discussed in absolute terms, but it is equally likely to be realized in degrees.This is especially true for middle-income countries that have already achieved some of the MDGs, and for countries characterized by one or more sub-regions that do not fit the development profile of the country as a whole, as in the Republic of Mauritius. For these countries, ownership that begins with national leaders does not necessarily translate into the bottom-up commitment necessary to move the MDGs forward. Similarly, government ownership of the MDGs lacks power without popular support.

In Mauritius, the main island and the smaller island of Rodrigues are divided geographically, ethnically,politically, and socio-economically,with Rodrigues being poorer and more remote. Autonomy in 2002 and the MDGs together created opportunity and impetus for Rodrigues to re-assess its development needs.Processes facilitated by the UN Country Team have resulted in strong local ownership of the MDGs and adaptation of the MDGs to middle income country needs, and helped to:

  • parlay broad national commitment to the MDGs into support for Rodrigues’ first sustainable integrated development plan;
  • increase awareness of the development needs of Rodrigues as a distinct region within the country;
  • bolster participatory planning on Rodrigues;
  • integrate Rodrigues’development needs prominently into national processes and planning,with MDG outcomes at the centre;
  • increase the realization of autonomy and strengthen local governance, in part by facilitating Rodrigues’ articulation of its own needs, while gaining national support for these needs; and
  • strengthen positive political relations between the National Government of Mauritius and the Rodrigues Regional Assembly.

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