Wednesday, August 27, 2014
12

希望的度量

西雅图—过去十五年来,世界最穷人群的生活的改善比以往任何时候都要快,但我乐观地认为,未来十五年会变得更好。毕竟,人类知识在进步。这具体表现在HIV药物等药品的研发和成本下降,以及让贫穷农民收获更多产量的新种子的创造上。一旦这样的新工具被发明出来,就不会倒退回去——只可能进步,不可能退步。

悲观派指出,我们将面临难以把新工具交给需要它们的人的局面。这便是政府和慈善机构表现衡量标准创新的用武之地。这一过程——设置明确的目标,采取正确的方法,然后度量结果以持续地获得反馈和改进方法——有助于我们将工具和服务交到能从中获益的群体手上。

减少传递瓶颈的创新十分关键。自很久以前蒸汽机发明以来,进步便不再“注定是罕见且不稳定的”。事实上,我们可以让进步变得稀松平常。

我是个乐观派,但也不会忽视我们所面临的问题和在未来十五年中加速这一过程所要克服的挑战。两个令我最担心的问题是我们可能无法筹集所需的资金支持卫生和发展项目,以及我们不能齐心协力向明确目标努力,帮助最穷人群。

好消息是许多发展中国家的经济增长使得它们可以将更多的资源用於帮助最穷国民。比如,印度正在日益远离援助依赖,最终会不再需要它。

一些国家,如英国、挪威、瑞典、韩国和澳大利亚,正在增加它们的外国援助预算;其他国家,如日本和荷兰,则在削减这一预算,尽管传统上它们是慷慨的援助者。还有很多国家,包括美国、法国、德国和加拿大,态度尚不明朗。

但援助是很关键的。它帮助最穷国家的人们满足基本需要。它为创造和传递新工具和服务的创新提供资金。不幸的是,在几乎所有发达国家,援助预算都因为财政疲软而受到了威胁。除非选民了解到自己的慷慨所带来的积极效应,否则他们免不了会把注意力更集中在自己家里。

关于援助被挪用的个别案例,不管真实与否,通常都会坏了整个援助大局。想象一下,如果你所读到的每篇文章都是关于股票如何表现不佳,没有任何获得大成功的报道,你会对投资做何感想?

从历史上看,援助通常会以总投资资金规模为标准进行讨论。但如今我们在使用儿童死亡率等指标进行更精确的衡量,人们可以通过解读明确的指标检查援助的效果,这意味着类似于让人们获得HIV治疗和让他们死去之间的区别。

但未来十五年,世界会团结在明确的目标周围吗?联合国正在开始着手为千年发展目标2015年到期后的时代制定新目标。与千年发展目标一样,下一组目标能有助于让凝聚做出贡献的团体,让选民知道他们的慷慨在支持什么项目,并让我们看到我们在向穷人传递解决方案方面做出了那些进步。

千年发展目标的成功意味着将它们进行扩展、纳入一系列范围更广的问题是极具意义的。但许多潜在新目标缺少一致支持,加入大量新目标——或不容易衡量的目标——可能不利于进步。

千年发展目标之所以具有凝聚力,是因为它们专注于帮助全世界最穷人群。需要团结一致实现这些目标的团体很容易识别,它们的合作和进步也被大家所监督和问责。当联合国在减轻气候变化等重要目标上达成一致时,应该考虑不同行动者和独立过程是否最适于这些努力。

过去十五年中世界在帮助最穷人群方面取得的进步是千载难遇的好好消息,因此,当重大退步,比如新传染病的爆发发生时,通常并不那么引人注目。一次又一次,我们应该后退一步,庆祝随正确的目标、必要的政治意愿、慷慨的援助和工具及其传递的创新一起到来的成就。这样做显然可以加深我们对这项事业的热情。

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  1. Commentedgeorge sos

    the setback is the epidemic?...right.....blind to the facts .If the 1% wanted to stop poverty on earth ,all they had to do is redistribute wealth ,equally with all.But with the excuse that people are not ready to manage their lives,you will endlesly earn,on the account of the poor.stealing resources,"buying" ,investing in water reserves,or minerals,is the way to go people!!mine the earth till you get rid of all the dirt...then ,start living your lives on a planet that is no more a planet .....what are we talking about?hope for 15 years down the line ,when people around the world will be already dead from hunfer?already dead from war ts that the US and other big powers cause in order to steal some more resources ,and secure them.....or just to sell some more weapons,to fight unemployment back home.....
    spare us the philosip[hical conquest...you are rich,you want to keep what you got and you dont give a shit about the poor.Lets play now charity....

  2. CommentedKathy Holland

    All we have done is shift the poor from one country to another. Innovation and measurement of the opportunities that lift greater numbers of lives up will lead to prosperity. Democratizing the tax code, charitable giving, etc. so there is greater economic participation with the intent to correct, adjust the laws in support of enterprise and each nation's citizenry. All inclusive information data needs to be massaged to answer the critical questions no one appears to be willing to ask.....well I am willing.

  3. CommentedFemi Awoyinfa

    Certainly some remarkable progress has been made in the last fifteen years, especially in relation to the world's poor across some indicators. The next fifteen years are critical and success will rely heavily on the crafting of new MDG goals and political will both in the north and south as Gates has suggested.

  4. CommentedLeo Arouet

    Es muy difícil mantener esa esperanza cuando se coloca en una balanza la realidad de la voluntad política y el deteriorio acuciante de la situación de los más desfavorecidos...

  5. Commentedsk khalid ali

    good article overall..vission is clear to help poor worldwide..i think the axis of all evil usa-israil & their role in conspiracy in world politics should be check by un to calm world..& will help people to do their work normally...people will live peacefully..economy will bounce back

  6. CommentedEdward Ponderer

    These are beautiful sentiments, only Murphy's law tends to outrank such beautiful sentiments. For example, see here on the problems with Mr. Gates push for an end to Polio:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/health/01polio.html?ref=world&_r=0

    It is going to take a lot more than the teamwork smarts of individuals to take on Murphy. Its going to take a singular global Humanity, with mutual concern and responsibility matching the economic and cultural interdependence rapidly evolving from globalization.

    Try completely getting rid of the dandelions on your front lawn without the concern of everyone to protect their neighbors front lawn with equal ferocity.

  7. CommentedGodfrey Barborous

    This "goal-oriented" approach only serves the interests of corporations and governments.

    Give it up Gates -- and I don't mean all your money.

  8. CommentedFrank O'Callaghan

    Gates is right that we can make a better world. He is also right that innovation is a major motor of this. He does not mention the great issue of inequality. Reducing that will be the other great motor.

  9. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    Even if we share Mr. Gates's optimism based on the present, the future does not look so optimistic.
    The global crisis, the disappearing middle class, growing unemployment is creating a new generation of "poor" people, and youth without future prospects.
    The main problem is humanity's stubborn persistence of pushing on with a socio-economic system that is unsustainable.
    Very soon even today's generous donors will stop giving as they will have nothing to give from.
    Gazing optimistically beyond the horizon without knowing where we stand, and who we are only yields disappointment.
    Instead we should be looking down the ground, ahead of our feet and try to build a new, natural and thus sustainable global human system, adapted to today's global, interconnected world, one in which mutual responsibility, truly global cooperation and consideration will make today's charity projects obsolete.

  10. CommentedJ St. Clair

    trade is monetary...life's journey require money....of which is not that easy to obtain...therefore.....the "advantages" of life are questionable...

  11. CommentedJ St. Clair

    when framed this way....we can frame it this way too.....the market of making drugs..needs a market of takers of drugs....what would a market of making drugs do...without a market of takers of drugs......who is the greater of benefitors...is it about life...or is it about trade...

  12. CommentedAyse Tezcan

    I, too, am an optimist that things are moving in the right direction. Thanks to information dissemination, people in the developed world have an access to information about where their aid monies go. Consequently, the recipients are being required to be more accountable, which may eventually help reducing corruption in the recipient countries and mediator organizations.
    I also believe that advancements in technologies such use of smart phones in delivering health care will expedite reaching these MDGs sooner than expected as well as measuring the process and outcomes more accurately than ever before. The important challenge is now identify the communities' assets to remedy these needs for sustainable progress and prioritizing the delivery for optimum impact. On the process end, I am still cautiously watching the great fraction in social enterprise whether this many small organizations has any utility, or they are redundant and/or impede progress.

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