Knowledge Globalization Conference, 13th International Knowledge Globalization Confernece 2018

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Eliminating Poverty by 2030: Can It Be Done? Can and Should We Help

Dr. Jonathan Haughton

Last modified: 2018-01-09


The U.N. Sustainable Development agenda calls for the elimination of extreme poverty by 2030. It is not clear that this goal is reachable. And it is even less clear what we – as individuals, as citizens – can do to help, no matter how good willed we may be.

This might sound a bit depressing, but it is not. My key point is that we won’t be able to eliminate poverty by 2030, but we are making extraordinarily good progress, and having an ambitious goal is no shame, if it helps keep policy focused. I argue that the reduction in poverty has much to do with encouraging markets, supporting education, and providing security; the role played by NGOs in this is generally minor (although Bangladesh may be the most important exception to this!).