Poverty Pitch

The intersection of American business and global poverty

Millennial Development

Millennial Development

In the year 2000, world leaders gathered together at the Millennium Summit to discuss the UN Millennium Declaration and establish concrete goals for the nations to address global poverty by 2015.[1] All of these goals are interdependent and compose of a well-rounded approach to alleviating the multiple dimensions of poverty.[2]

The 8 Millennium Development Goals:

1) Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

2) Achieve Universal Primary Education

3) Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

4) Reduce Child Mortality

5) Improve Maternal Health

6) Combat HIV/AIDs, Malaria and other diseases

7) Ensure Environmental Sustainability

8) Develop a Global Partnership for Development


Timeline of Development History

This timeline shows the history of Millennial Development and how this framework shaped the way the world sees and addresses global poverty. This timeline gives special emphasis on the way the corporate world intersects with the global development.

link to http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/79507/Millennial-Development/#vars!date=2000-01-15_09:14:22!

Click to see interactive timeline!
created via Tiki-Toki.com

The events are categorized by color:

GREEN = Institutions
the steps taken by international institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank to combat global poverty

PURPLE = Policies
the multinational policies that framed the way poverty is thought of and addressed internationally

RED = Criticisms and setbacks
– the complications that either hinder global development or push it in another direction

1944 – The World Bank is born 

The World Bank was established during the Bretton Woods summit as an international institution aimed at post-war development in Europe.

Since then it has started making efforts towards poverty reduction around the world.

It has also expanded into an association between 5 institutions:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Development Association (IDA)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

1975 – World Bank switches focus to poverty reduction 

World Bank President, Robert McNamara, focuses on the problem of urban poverty in his address to the Board of Governors during their annual meeting.

In this address he called for strategies that were aimed at increasing the productivity of the poor to decrease inequalities and lead to economic development.

According to him, “the central task of development is the reduction and ultimately the elimination of absolute poverty.”

1986 – World Bank’s “Poverty Task Force” is created

Senior staff of the World Bank created a task force that reviewed the Bank’s efforts to address poverty and suggested new strategies.

The task force’s goal was to address extreme aspects of global poverty by the year 2000

1990 – UN releases first Human Development Report

The United Nations released a development report that was focused on the development of human conditions rather than just economic growth.

The indicators used in the HDR include the Human Development Index, the Gender-related Development, the Gender Empowerment Measure, and the Human Poverty Index.

This report was created in response to the rise of structural adjustment – a policy framework that emphasized economic development as a basis for gaining support from Bretten Woods Institutions.

It was also a turning point from a focus on economic growth to an emphasis on “social dimensions of development”, and eventually influenced the creation of the UN Millennium Development Goals (Jenkins 529).

1990’s- Washington Consensus

A set of US policies were put in place to focus on government deregulation, and a shift to private contributions to economic growth.

Other countries were encouraged to follow these policies. According to Jenkins, this framework was manifested in the increased amount of aid given to developing countries from Foreign Direct Investment rather than Official Development Assistance (529).

Click here for a list of these 10 policies

1995 – Year of the sweatshops

Several transnational companies were criticized by activist groups for allowing their laborers work under inhumane conditions and environments.

These companies included Nike, Disney, Gap, and more.

1996 – World Bank releases report on poverty

World Bank releases a report entitled Poverty Reduction and the World Bank: Progress and Challenges in the 1990s.

With this report, the Bank “vows to redouble efforts to ensure success in its central mandate to help developing countries reduce poverty.”

The data on this report was turned into the metrics used to measure the Bank’s effectiveness in achieving its goals of poverty reduction.

1999 – World Bank: fight against poverty is failing 

Based on updated poverty data and accounts from the world’s poor, the World Bank concluded that stronger efforts had to be made, and strategies redesigned.

The Bank addressed this situation by collaborating with the International Monetary Fund and local governments to create the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). These strategies focused on the greater involvement of client governments in their country’s development.

2000 – Millennium Summit

World leaders gathered together to discuss the UN Millennium Declaration and establish concrete goals for the nations to address global poverty by 2015

2002 – The UN Millennium Project

This project was established by the United Nations to find concrete means to achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals

250 experts from around the world were involved in the 10 thematic Task Forces which implemented the initiatives designed through this project.


Jenkins, Rhys. “Globalization, Corporate Social Responsibility and Poverty.” International Affairs 81.3 (2005): 525-40. Print.

UN Intellectual History Project

[1]UN Millennium Project

World Bank Archives
[2]World Health Organization website