Development Intelligence

 Introduction      Economic Development Report      The Economic Paradigms      About DIO      Leading Issues      Sustainable development prospects - publication series



Development Intelligence Organization

Economic Development Report - January, 2019-January 2020

Below we summarize the findings of our Economic Development Report covering the period January 2019-January 2020.

The main theme of the current period is the evolution of Agenda 2030. This was initiated by the United Nations under the more general title of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include some 17 goals that are related to over 230 national level indicators. The objective is to attain pre-defined levels of indicators performance by 2030. A matter of interest is that what used to be referred to as cross-cutting issues have become mainstream items. This is of course justified. However, the complexity of the solutions to several SDGs has created difficulties for many project design teams because of the need to assemble teams with the qualified experience to handle a wide range of disciplines.

Early evidence of failure

In our last Economic Development Report we highlighted the fact that conventional economic theory and practice which has only weak traction, is unlikely to facilitate Agenda 2030, indeed, in many cases it will hinder progress.

We now have some evidence which has become apparent to those charged with evaluating the early progress of Agenda 2030. In an interview posted on Sci Dev, indicates that climate change goals are not being met. This article reports on some early conclusions expressed by Dr. Jean-Paul Moatti, of National Research Institute for Development in France. He is a member of the group evaluating progress of Agenda 2030 and SDGs.

Moatti stated that there is a need to decorrelate economic growth from its negative social and environmental impacts. He said that as soon as economic growth goes back on track, the SDGs start to go backwards. He identified three SDGs as problem areas. These are reduction of inequalities (SDG 10), the limitation and adaptation to climate change (SDG 13) and the reduction of the environmental and ecological footprint of our modes of production and consumption (SDG 12). He considers these to be key goals.

The cause of these failures has been described in a recent article in Agricultural Innovation by Hector McNeill1, entitled, "Why Agenda 2030's Sustainable Development Goals are not being met". This confirms our Development Report concerns since 2018 about macroeconomic policies and he adds population dynamics. McNeill points to three factors, population dynamics (size and growth rates), inflation rates and distribution and trends in nominal incomes, as the principal drivers of a real incomes erosion treadmill which is particularly damaging to lower income segments in low income countries.

These three factors contribute to the failures identified by Dr. Moatti.

In terms of economic development and sustainable economic development in particular, the PAC Model (Production, Accessibility and Consumption Model) which emerged as a new front with considerable practical potential. This was identified as a result of the economics research and development work on the Real Incomes Approach to economics which has evolved since its inception in 1975. Hector McNeill has been the lead developer since its inception in Brazil. The PAC Model is emerging as a more transparent means to stimulate sustainable growth that avoids income disparity. This is particularly significant for low income countries and in particular the agricultural sectors. McNeill is a British economist and Director of The George Boole Foundation and Coordinator of SEEL-Systems Engineering Economics Lab. Summary information on the McNeill's contribution to the Real Incomes Approach is provided in the Paradigms section.

The 2019 Sustainable Development Report identified important gaps in SDG indicators. The DIO is currently working with several organizations to help close these data gaps by generating information for sectors lacking information on these essential inputs by applying alternative compound indicators developed by the OQSI due diligence design procedural standards team (see Sustainable Development Prospects).


DIO-Development Intelligence Organization