The Stories Behind The Data By Bill Gates
For years, we’ve heard people question whether investments in the fight against global poverty have an impact. Clearly, we believe they do.
We are investing all our resources in that fight. But that doesn’t mean every dollar spent on development has maximum impact. And that must be our goal.
We are launching this report this year and every year until 2030 because we want to accelerate progress in the fight against poverty by helping to diagnose urgent problems, identify promising solutions, measure and interpret key results, and spread best practices.
As it happens, this report comes out at a time when there is more doubt than usual about the world’s commitment to development. In our own country, Congress is currently considering how to deal with the big cuts to foreign aid proposed in the president’s budget. A similar mood of retrenchment has taken hold in other donor countries. Meanwhile, most developing countries need to do more to prioritize the welfare of their poorest citizens.
In 2015, the member states of the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which together paint a picture of what we all want the world to look like in 2030. However, if we don’t reaffirm the commitment that has led to so much progress over the past generation, that world will remain out of reach. Leaders everywhere need to take action now to put us on the path we set for ourselves just two years ago.
This report, which includes modeling from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, will track 18 data points included in the SDGs that we believe are fundamental to people’s health and well-being. To complement the data, we’re also telling the stories behind the numbers—about the leaders, innovations, and policies that have made the difference in countries where progress has been most significant.
The decisions we collectively make in the next couple of years are going to have a big impact on the shape these curves take. Of course, it’s not really about the shape of the curves. It’s about what the curves signify: whether or not millions or even billions of people will conquer disease, lift themselves out of extreme poverty, and reach their full potential.
You can read the full report here. We hope that the stories behind the fight to end poverty will challenge, inform, and inspire you as much as they have us.
Written by Bill Gates