15 Jun
Written by 

Status of Millennium Development Goals in Ethiopia

1  Introduction

The Millennium Development Goals form an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives formulated by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000. The idea of identifying and setting international development goals for implementation across nations did not start with the MDGs. The UN had been doing it since the first “Development Decade” in the 1960s. However, no comprehensive process and mechanism had been put in place to monitoring progress in achieving these goals at the country level. Instead, the mechanisms of accountability were weak and scattered into different commissions and bodies that do not communicate with each other.

During the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session on the Integrated Follow-up of Major UN Conferences and Summits held in May 1998, the President of the Council, Ambassador Juan Somavía, reported that

“… in order to effectively monitor progress in the implementation of conferences at the country level, there is an urgent need for the multilateral system to develop a coherent set of basic indicators, as well as the need to strengthen the capacity of the UN system and of countries to collect and analyze statistics.”

During the Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000, all 189 UN Member States adopted the Millennium Declaration, which contained a core group of goals and targets. The Millennium Declaration updates many of the development goals originally set (and not met) for the year 2000 and reformulates them for the year 2015. It also gives UN endorsement to the goal of “halving extreme poverty,” originally formulated by the OECD,” by the same date.

The Declaration consolidates a set of eight interconnected development goals into a global agenda with time-bound targets and quantifiable indicators. These goals are known as the “Millennium Development Goals” or MDGs. The Summit’s Millennium Declaration also outlined a consensus “road map” for how to proceed, with a strong focus on human rights, good governance and democracy.

Some of the goals and targets of the Millennium Declaration were later refined through the Roadmap towards the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration: Report of the Secretary General to the General Assembly (A/56/326, September 2001), through which have emanated the MDGs as we know them today. These eight goals are essentially centered on national targets for poverty, education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability, but also include targets for establishing an international trade and finance policy framework that favors development. Numerical targets have been set for each goal, which are to be achieved by 2015.

The Millennium Development Goals are, in short, a framework world leaders have agreed upon to reduce poverty and improve lives. The eight goals offer a vision of what we want to achieve to address the eight agreed problems.

 

Table 1: MDGs - goals and targets

Goal

Targets

Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Halve the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and those who suffer from hunger.

Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education

Ensure that all boys and girls complete primary school.

Goal 3 Promote gender equality and empower women.

Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.

Goal 4 Reduce Child Mortality

Reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate among children under five.

Goal 5 Improve maternal health

Reduce by three-quarters the ratio of women dying in childbirth

Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases

Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability

Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.

 

By 2015, reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water.

 

By 2020 achieve significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development.

Develop further an open trading and financial system that includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – nationally and internationally.

 

Develop decent and productive work for youth.

The MDGs further elaborate each of the eight goals in terms of one or more clear and measurable targets to be reached by 2015. There are eighteen specific targets set across the eight goals and more than 45 indicators to monitor these targets. Each country has to set realistic, time-bound and measurable national development goals in line with these targets. These are the minimum targets and countries could expand these goals as they concretize them to respond to their local reality.

The MDGs Needs Assessment Methodology Paper (Millennium Project, 2004) suggests that low-income country Governments follow three stage-planning processes to align their respective domestic policies strategies and programs with the MDGs.



The first stage is the conduct of a needs assessment that compares its current situation with MDGs targets and thereby identifies the combination of public investments that would enable the country to meet the MDGs by 2015. The second stage of the planning process is the formulation of a long-term policy plan for achieving the MDGs building up on the results of the MDGs needs assessment. The present report presents the results of these two stages. The third stage in the planning process is for each country to formulate its medium term (3 to 5 years) PRSP based on the long-term plan.

 

The MDGs in Ethiopia

 

Ethiopia has adopted the millennium declaration of 8th September 2000. However, the process of pursuing the MDGs formally started in January 2003. Ethiopia first submitted its interim PRSP (PRSP I) in November 2000 and the preparation of a full PRSP, Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP) was finalized in July 2002. The SDPRP was designed for covering the years, 2002/03-2004/05.

The first major step towards the comprehensive and systematic integration of the MDGs in the national development policy context is the ‘MDGs Needs Assessment’ conducted by the government, UNCT and other development partners in 2005. This assessment resulted in the development of Ethiopia’s ten years MDG indicative plan and enabled the explicit incorporation of the MDGs and their explicit cost in subsequent development policy documents or PRSPs for the country.

The successive medium-term development plans of the country being implemented since 2005 have been designed on the basis of the MDGs. The achievement of MDGs has been integrated in the Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP, 2005/06-2009/10) and the current Growth and Transformation Plan (2010/11-2014/15). The PASDEP is the first five year phase of Ethiopia’s ten years MDGs plan. The development of the GTP has also been informed by a 2010 MDG assessment.

The following sections briefly outline the status and trends towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Ethiopia.

 

Eradicating Extreme Poverty

 

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the Human Development Report in 2008, 44 percent of the population of the country lived below the national poverty line, with 23 % living on less than one dollar and 78 % living on less than two dollars a day. The Human Development Index (HDI) for Ethiopia was reported to stand at 0.389, which gives the country a rank of 169th out of 179 countries with data.

The available evidence indicates that the percentage of population living below national poverty line has continuously declined at the national level since the mid-1990s. National poverty measured by the headcount index has fallen by nearly 7 percentage points, from 45.5 % in 1996 to 41.9 in 2000 and 38.7 % in 2005. Since then, total poverty head count has decreased to 36.6% in 2006 and 34.6% in 2007. The figures are estimated to further decline to 29.2 percent in 2009/10. Similarly significant poverty reduction results are also indicated by figures real consumption expenditure per capita, which is a more potent measure of welfare. During the decade 1996 to 2005, per capita adult equivalent real consumption expenditure has increased by 17.4 % over the decade which is equivalent to a 1.9 % annual average increase in per capita adult equivalent real consumption expenditure. The five year Growth and Transformation Plan 2010/11-14/15 indicates that both income and food poverty would decline reaching 22.2% and 21.22% in 2014/15 from 29.2% and 28.2% in 2009/10, respectively.

 

Table 2: Ethiopian Human Development Situation and the Sub Saharan Africa

 

Indicators

Year

Ethiopia

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa/ Ethiopia

Human Development Index

2000

0.250

0.315

1.26

2005

0.287

0.366

1.28

2009

0.324

0.384

1.19

 

2010

0.328

0.389

1.19

Inequality Adjusted HDI

2010

0.216

0.261

1.21

GNI Per Capita (PPP-2008$)

2010

992

2050

2.07

Non-income HDI value

2010

0.357

0.436

1.22

Life Expectancy at Birth

2010

56.1

52.7

0.94

Maternal Mortality Ratio

2003-2008

720

881

1.22

Mean years of schooling

2010

8.3

4.5

0.54

Source: UN HDR (2010)

The region of Sub-Saharan African countries are typically considered as facing the greatest challenges in human development and have the lowest Human Development Index. However, Ethiopia has registered substantial progress in improving human development and ranks 11th in progress over time. HDI rank of Ethiopia improved and increased by 3 levels between the years 2005-2010 with an average annual HDI growth rate of 2.73% between the years 2000-2010.

Table 3: Multidimensional Poverty Situation of Ethiopia

 

MPI

Population with Multi-dimensional Poverty

% Population with at Least One Deprivation (2000-2008)

Gini -Coefficient

population below income poverty line

 (2000-2008)

(2000-08)

Headcount (%)

Intensity of Deprivation (%)

Education

Health

Living Standards

PPP$1.25 a day (%)

National Poverty line (%)

0.582

90

64.7

83.9

48.2

94.2

29.8

39

44.2

Source: UN HDR (2010)

 

The national headcounts of those who are income poor (using the $1.25 a day poverty line) of Ethiopia is 39% of the population and the number of people who are multi dimensionally poor accounts 90 percent which is the higher one in sub Saharan countries. Table ….highlights the full set of results on the multi-dimensional poverty situation of Ethiopia. According to HDR (2010), countries with relatively good access to services have an MPI that is significantly lower than monetary-based estimates. This is not the case in Ethiopia, where deprivations beyond inadequate income are even worse. Moreover, at the individual and household levels people have different abilities to convert income into nutrition or education gains—for example, in households where there are people with disabilities or special needs.

Poverty reduction has been more pronounced in rural areas than in urban areas with the headcount index in rural areas falling from 47.5 in 1996 to 39.3 in 2005. Over the whole period, growth measured by real per capita adult consumption expenditure, especially in rural areas, accounts for the bulk of the reduction in headcount poverty between 1996 and 2005. Though significant growth in real income has been realized both in rural and urban areas, growth has been more rapid in urban areas (33.5 %) than in rural areas (13.8 %) between 1996 and 2005.

 

Table 4: Summary of Socio-Economic Indicators

 

Indicator Name

 2001

 2002

 2003

 2004

 2005

 2006

 2007

 2008

 2009

Public spending on education, total (% of GDP)

      3.73

      3.66

 

 

 

      5.53

      5.49

 

 

Health expenditure, total (% of GDP)

      4.73

      4.71

      4.91

      4.33

      4.11

      4.18

      4.78

      4.31

       4.26

Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%)

      8.00

      8.00

      8.00

      8.00

    21.20

    21.90

    21.90

    21.90

     21.90

Improved water source, rural (% of rural population with access)

 

 

 

 

    24.00

 

 

    26.00

 

Improved water source, urban (% of urban population with access)

 

 

 

 

    95.00

 

 

    98.00

 

Hospital beds (per 1,000 people)

 

 

 

      0.20

 

      0.20

 

      0.18

 

Nurses and midwives (per 1,000 people)

 

 

      0.22

 

 

 

      0.24

 

 

 Physicians (per 1,000 people)

      0.03

      0.03

      0.03

 0.01a

 0.01a

 0.01a

      0.02

 

 

 Mortality rate, under-5 (per 1,000)

 

 

 

 

    121.9

    117.3

    112.8

    108.5

     104.4

 Birth rate, crude (per 1,000 people)

      41.6

      41.0

      40.4

      39.9

      39.5

      39.1

      38.7

      38.2

       37.7

 Death rate, crude (per 1,000 people)

      14.0

      13.7

      13.3

      13.0

      12.7

      12.4

      12.1

      11.8

       11.6

 Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births)

 

 

 

 

      76.9

      74.4

      71.9

      69.4

       67.1

 Life expectancy at birth, female (years)

      53.4

      53.8

      54.3

      54.8

      55.2

      55.7

      56.2

      56.7

       57.1

 Life expectancy at birth, male (years)

      50.3

      50.8

      51.3

      51.8

      52.3

      52.8

      53.3

      53.8

       54.3

2.2         Achieving Universal Primary Education

During 2009/10 the Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) for primary school (grades 1-8) reached 95.9 per cent (93.per cent for female and 98.7 per cent for male). During the same year (2009/10) the Net Enrolment Rate (NER) stood at 89.3 per cent (87.9 for male and 86.5 percent for female). The data on primary enrollment rates shows an increasing trend for both boys and girls. However, the regional gap in the GER and NER at primary level is still very wide.

Promoting Gender Equality and Empower Women

Based on gender related development benchmarks developed by UNDP, Ethiopia has earned a total GDI rank of 148 with index value of 0.393 in 2005 making it one of the least developed countries in terms of gender equality. Female headed households earn significantly less than male headed households, women are less economically active than men, and women constitute a disproportionate share of the unemployed. In terms of girls’ participation in primary and secondary education, the gender disparity of NER was still high in favor of boys in 2005/06. Moreover, the gender disparity gets wider at higher levels of the educational system. Finally, the political participation of women, as indicated by representation in the HPR, was still low in the third parliament (2005-2010) standing at 117 (22%) and shows improvement to 27.8 percent recently in the HPR while the number of seats held by women in the HF is 21 (18.75%).

Table 5: Gender Inequality Index for Ethiopia

Maternal mortality ratio            2003-2008

Adolescent fertility rate 1990-2008

seats in parliament (%) female 2008

Labour force participation rate (%) 2008

contraceptive prevalence rate, any method

(% of married women age 15=49)

1990-2008

Antenatal coverage of at least one visit (%)                    1990-2008

Birth attended by skilled health personnel (%) 2000-2008

Female

Male

720

104.4

21.4

80.8

91.1

14.7

28

6

Source: UN HDR (2010)

2.4         Reducing Child Mortality

In 2005, Infant mortality rate stood at 77 and under-five mortality rate was 123 per thousand live births showing a decline of 20.6 percent and 25.9 percent respectively within five years. Routine immunization coverage has similarly increased from 52% to 69% in the three years. According to the DHS – 2005, the overall prenatal mortality rate is 37 still births per 1000 live births down from 52 still births per 1,000 live births in the 2000 DHS. Despite these improvements, one in thirteen children born in Ethiopia do not survive to celebrate its first birth day, and one in every eight children dies before its fifth birth day. Moreover, there are significant regional variations in infant and under five mortality that reflect regional disparities, urban rural differences and educational and wealth levels. In 2009/10 the under-five mortality rates and infant mortality rates decreased to 101/1000 and to 45/1000 live births, respectively.

 

Improving Maternal Health

According to FMoH data, the national contraceptive prevalence rate reached 55% in 2009/10. In 2005, an overwhelming majority of births (94 percent) were delivered at home while five percent of births were delivered in a public facility and less than one percent of births were delivered in a private facility. DHS 2005 estimates that the maternal mortality ratio for Ethiopia for the period 1998-2004 was 673 deaths per 100,000 live births.

 

Combating HIV/AIDS Pandemic, Malaria and Other Diseases

Ethiopia ranks among the countries significantly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic with an official adult prevalence rate of 3.5% in 2005. More recent estimates based on data from ANC surveillance and the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) reflect a less severe epidemic with adult prevalence estimated at 2.1% in 2006/07 (7.7% urban, and 0.2% rural). Adult HIV prevalence in 2009/10 is estimated to be 2.4% with an estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV.

Ensure Environmental Sustainability

 

Access to safe drinking water has been increasing progressively reaching 68.5% in 2009/10 from a baseline of 19% in 1990. In rural areas, access to clean water has increased from 35% in 2004/05 to 65.8% in 2009/10, compared to increases from 80% to 91.5% in urban areas for the same period. Access to sanitation facilities, on the other hand, appears to have remained low.

In 2009/10 the forest cover in Ethiopia stood at 5 million ha. On the other hand, according to the MDG report of 2010 the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority (EEPA) has expressed alarm at the precarious state of biodiversity in Ethiopia. The Agency blames settlement and investment activities that do not take biodiversity into account, the absence of a land use policy and land use plan and increasing amounts of toxic substances and pollutants as the causes.

The proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected in Ethiopia has not shown much progress. The proportion of terrestrial areas protected, total surface area grew by a third of a percentage point in the period 1990-2008.

 

The Government of Ethiopia had an ambitious plan to cover 65% of the total population with housing and basic services by 2009/10. As of 2009/10, 213,000 new houses were constructed through the public housing development programme. Similarly, it was planned to reduce slum areas to 35%, but achieved to reduce to 40% in 2009/10.

Ghetnet Metiku Woldegiorgis

I was born in 1975, long before most of you (young Ethiopian Lawyers); graduated from AAU Law Faculty in 1997. I have been working in civil society, the public sector (2 years at the Mekelle University Law Faculty), and in the private sector with consultancy firms. I am currently earning my bread as a freelance socio-legal researcher with multiple institutions. I love research, even for its own sake.