Putting things into perspective


Goalkeepers: The Stories Behind the Data, a report that show cases the progress that has been made in reducing extreme poverty as well as disease, was launched on September 13, 2017. The report that is co-authored by Bill and Melinda Gates brings to light past progress against some of the most devastating issues facing poor countries and uses breakthrough data projections to project good and bad future scenarios.
“We’re trying to document the incredible progress, including on key things like poverty and different disease areas. And we’re trying to look forward and see what the possibilities are,” Bill Gates stated.
The report tracks 18 data points from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, including child and maternal deaths, stunting, access to contraceptives, HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, financial inclusion and sanitation. It also shines a light on the progress drivers; leaders, approaches and innovations that made a significant difference.
In the report, projections are showcased in charts and explore three potential 2030 scenarios for each indicator. The first is what could happen if the world continues along the current path, based on past trends, without major changes to approaches to challenges or current spending levels.
Two additional scenarios provide a glimpse at a better and worse future: what could happen with strong leadership, innovation and investment and, starkly, what could happen if attention and funding decreased.
“One example we give is in HIV, that if we had a 10 percent cut in the funding, that we’d have five million more deaths by 2030. And, you know, so that’s to bring it into real focus that it absolutely matters what happens here,” Gates said.
He further pointed out that progress comes where there is innovation, a new tool. “So we give examples of that. Progress comes where you have a country that does something particularly effective and other countries look at that delivery program and figure out how to match the great progress they’ve made there,” he underlined.
Bill and Melinda Gates Express concern that shifting priorities, instabilities and potential budget cuts could lead the world to turn its back from the commitments that have been made. This will jeopardize the positive trajectory needed to end extreme poverty and wipe out diseases by 2030.
“This report comes at a time when there is more doubt than usual about the world’s commitment to development,” Bill and Melinda Gates state in the report. “Take it from the point of view of justice, or take it from the point of view of creating a secure and stable world: development deserves our attention.”
The Foundation will be publishing such reports every year until 2030.