|AVSI presents on the Last Mile on the road to sustainable development at Columbia|
On September 7, AVSI presented a paper at the First International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice (ICSDP): Advancing Evidence-Based Solutions for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, held at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, on September 6-7, 2013.
The Conference was organized by the Global Association of Master's in Development Practice Programs (MDP), in collaboration with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) with the goal of sharing and identifying practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the UN SDSN leadership in shaping the Post-2015 Agenda.
The conference mobilized the expertise of the scientific and technical communities in academia, civil society and the private sector including panels and a poster session on the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network 12 thematic areas. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN and Co-facilitator of the Special Event of the President for the UN General Assembly Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals was the main speaker on Friday, with Amina J. Mohammed, UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning who spoke on Saturday. Jeffrey D. Sachs provided a video on the Age of Sustainable Development. During the two days participants from all over the world representing different sectors presented on panels and poster sessions.
Jackie Aldrette, Program Manager at AVSI-USA, presented the paper she wrote with John Makoha, AVSI Uganda, on the topic: “New Norm for Development: Civil Society Partnerships to Reach the Most Vulnerable along the Last Mile,” selected by the conference organizers for the thematic area Global Governance and Norms for Sustainable Development.
Her presentation addressed some of the concerns raised during the conference: How to more effectively deliver humanitarian aid to ensure positive and enduring change? and What proposals do we have to shape the post-2015 development agenda? Aldrette laid out an argument that one of the reasons behind the unequal progress towards the Millennium Development Goals globally is the “last mile problem,” which she defined as: when goods and services do not reach the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in a sustainable way and with sufficient quality.