Meet the new UN Millennium Campaign Director, Mitchell Toomey!

15 January 2015

Greetings MY World and World We Want Partners,


With the beginning of a new year, we are pleased to introduce you to Mr. Mitchell Toomey, who has taken on the post as Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign as of January 2015.

Prior to becoming Director of the Millennium Campaign, Mitchell held the position of Senior Adviser of the Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group in UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy. He has led groundbreaking work using digital media and technology to engage the public and civil society organizations around the world in collaborative crowdsourcing of development solutions focused on bringing vital services to the poorest and most vulnerable populations. Mitchell also helped design and launch UNDP’s Global Innovation Facility.

No stranger to MY World and the World We Want 2015 initiatives, Mitchell led the technical design and implementation phases of these platforms and other e-consultations to strategically engage millions of people around the world to participate in the post-2015 development framework. These initiatives and consultations, with the support from partners around the world, offer tremendous insight on priorities for the next generations of global anti-poverty goals.

Before joining UNDP, Mitchell launched two start-ups, served as Executive Producer for an interactive marketing agency, and worked as a management consultant helping traditional firms leverage digital markets and business models. He is an American national and holds a Masters of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BA in Philosophy.

2015 is a critical year for us to focus on the MDGs’ final push and to ensure that citizen voices are reflected in the new development framework, civil society-led citizen engagement on a local-level is more crucial than ever before. By using an innovative strategy, forging new partnerships, and strengthening existing ones, Mitchell hopes to lead the team to support government, civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and carry on with an ambitious and inclusive post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

The United Nations Millennium Campaign TeamHeader

A note from Corinne Woods

Dear Friends,Corinne-Woods-Profilepic_400x400

Happy New Year and thank you for your partnership with the UN Millennium Campaign whether through the MY World Survey, the World We Want 2015, the End Open Defecation Campaign or the work our Africa team has led on Financing and Equity.

This year marks a watershed in many ways. The MDG’s deadline is upon us and we have much to celebrate in terms of tangible progress to meet the goals.We also have good cause to celebrate the work of the UNMC and partners to build powerful citizen led campaigns on the MDGs from the award winning Stand Up Campaign, through the policy work on maternal mortality and of course the MY World Campaign for the new development agenda. It is a good moment to take pause and assess what has worked and with all honesty what has not so that as we move to the new agenda we can build on everything we have done before.

We know that in 2015 the stakes are high. World leaders will be working towards two outcomes that will be critical for people and planet. The first in September is the creation of the next set of global goals to follow the Millennium Development Goals and the culmination of critical climate change negotiations in Paris. The work we have done in the last few years to bring citizen voices to the UN should not be lost.

Today marks the launch of the Action/2015 campaign – a year for global action in the escalating action towards finalizing the MDGs, and in ratifying an ambitious and transformation new global development agenda. It is now that we need you to redouble your efforts to ensure that all those who have placed their dreams and visions in our hands are honored. We owe the countless volunteers who have taken bikes, trains and have walked to gather voices from the most remote location to ensure world leaders hear these voices. You have gathered the voices and I trust you will use them.

It is also with some sadness that I share news of transitions in the UN Millennium Campaign. As of December 31st both Charles Abugre our Regional Director for Africa and myself stepped down. However in this critical year UNDP have redoubled their commitment to the UN Millennium Campaign and appointed Mitchell Toomey to lead the work. As a partner in the early design of MY World he has bought a wealth of technical knowledge which I am sure will take the UN Millennium Campaign to greater heights.

It has been an honor to lead the UN Millennium Campaign over the past 4 years and as I transition to the UN Foundation to intensify their support for the work of Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser on Post-015 Development I will stay in contact with many of you.



The Future of Citizen Engagement – A New Report on Citizen Voices

16 December 2014 – Last week, the Occidental College Task Force on Citizen Accountability launched a report of their research findings entitled The Future of Citizen Engagement: Recommendations for Implementing Effective Feedback Initiatives. This research team, commissioned by the UN Millennium Campaign, assessed a variety of citizen feedback initiatives around the world which focus on incorporating citizen voice into local and national policy and/or service delivery. Among the case studies were UNICEF’s U Report in Uganda, and the MY World local spin-off survey, MY Municipality in Macedonia. For a full documentation of the initiatives which the team encountered through their research, see this interactive map.

The research assessed which characteristics make an initiative most effective in a variety of local contexts and across a span of diverse actors. From these findings, the report details a set of nine recommendations for implementing strong and effective citizen feedback initiatives:

  1. Government buy-in and support is essential to ensure that citizen feedback is translated into change
  2. All partners must receive value from the initiative
  3. Existing civil society networks and partnerships are essential for effective outreach
  4. The timing of a citizen feedback initiative launch impacts its success
  5. An option of anonymity will allow for more candid citizen feedback
  6. Technology must be easy-to-use, accessible and functional
  7. Outreach must use many mediums of communication, including both tech and non-tech platforms
  8. Initiatives must find ways to include marginalized populations
  9. Target communities must be informed of their rights and responsibilities

This research is extremely relevant for the future of the MY World survey. Thus far, MY World has allowed over 7 million people to have their say concerning the next international development agenda.  The hope for the future is that people everywhere are equipped with comprehensive tools which allow them to have their say in local and national policy processes as well.

These recommendations will serve the UN Millennium Campaign and its partners as they decides how the MY World model can fit into a local or national context.

We the Peoples- Celebrating 7 million voices

More than 7 million people have taken the MY World survey because we want you, the world’s leaders, to know exactly what it is that WE, the people want. We ask that you take into account these votes that represent the hopes and dreams of every 1 in 1,000 people on the planet — hopes and dreams for a better life.

Vote, listen and act in 2015. Working together we can be the generation that ends poverty and preserves the planet.

We the Peoples- Celebrating 7 million voices report

Download report

A World That Counts: Mobilising The Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

Never again should it be possible to say “ we didn’t know.” No one should be invisible. This is the world we want – a world that counts.

The Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (IEAG) has just published A World That Counts: Mobilising The Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

The report highlights two big global challenges for the current state of data:

  • The challenge of invisibility (gaps in what we know from data, and when we find out)
  • The challenge of inequality (gaps between those who with and without information, and what they need to know make their own decisions)

The IEAG report makes specific recommendations on how to address these challenges, calling for a UN-led effort to mobilise the data revolution for sustainable development:

  1. Fostering and promoting innovation to fill data gaps
  2. Mobilising resources to overcome inequalities between developed and developing countries
  3. Leadership and coordination to enable the data revolution to play its full role in the realisation of sustainable development

The IEAG consists of over 20 international experts convened by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to propose ways to improve data for achieving and monitoring sustainable development.

The recommendations of the IEAG will inform the Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General and the subsequent intergovernmental process.

Download the report

Report: Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium Development Goals

While an increasing number of Africans are enjoying higher living standards, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa should redouble efforts to ensure crises such as the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa do not reverse development achievements, says the latest MDG report on Africa.

Africa’s poverty rates have continued to decline, despite the adverse effects of the recent food, fuel, and global economic crisis, says “Assessing Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa”, produced annually by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

However, conflict, political instability and natural or man-made disasters threaten to unravel the progress made on the MDGs, the eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.

“Even after societies recuperate, the potential for development remains impaired long after the crises are over, as human capital is depleted and institutions are weakened,” say the authors of the report. The current Ebola crisis in West Africa, a region that was experiencing significant growth and development progress, is threatening to set back affected and surrounding countries by several years.


  • About 37 countries were implementing cash transfers, public works programmes or insurance schemes in 2013, up from 21 three years earlier
  • Stronger partnerships and domestic financing, with strong support from the private sector, are key to furthering improvements in living standards.
  • Maternal and child mortality have declined by 47 and 44 percent respectively.
  • Over the 1995–2012 period, Africa has made considerable improvements on health-related MDGs.
  • The Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda recognizes the importance of economic transformation and other key drivers of progress

Download the report: English | French

MDG 8 Report: The State of the Global Partnership for Development

In its latest report, the MDG Gap Task Force found much progress towards achieving the goals set under MDG 8. There was a notable increase in official development assistance, a breakthrough in trade negotiations in Bali, an extension of duty-free and quota-free access to developed country markets for least developed countries, and greater availability and falling costs of telecommunications in developing countries. However, the report also highlights the many challenges that remain.

While official development assistance hit a record high, aid flows to some regions declined and total flows still fell short of commitments made by UN Member States; agricultural subsidies in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries remain entrenched, small States continue to face longstanding debt sustainability challenges; and essential medicines continue to be unaffordable and insufficiently available in many countries. With the MDGs concluding in 2015, this report underscores the need for a renewed political commitment to development cooperation and to a coherent set of substantive policies for global development.

Download the Report

Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda

One year ago the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) released a summary of a global consultation process on the world that people want. The report, ‘A Million Voices’, captured the results of nearly 100 national dialogues on post-2015, 11 thematic consultations, and a vibrant e-discussion and global survey, MY World.

The current report picks up where ‘A Million Voices’ left off, and looks in more depth at the factors within each country that will support or impede implementation. A set of Dialogues has been exploring these factors and are still capturing ideas.

The overarching message is that all these means of implementation will require sufficient investment if the new post-2015 development agenda is to make a real difference to people’s lives. Whatever the specific topic of discussion several principlese merge again and again: participation, inclusion, and the need for strengthened capacities and partnerships.

Only an agenda that focuses on effective implementation, including through these aspects, will do justice to the aspirations and hopes of the millions of people around the world who have guided governments to this new agenda— the future they want.

“MDGs- We must finish the job.” says UN Secretary-General

Launching new report, MDG Advocates outline challenges and opportunities for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by end of 2015

Led by the Prime Minister of Norway and President of the Republic of Rwanda, the MDG Leaders praise successes of improving people’s lives and demand more action

New York, 25 September 2014—The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals while speaking to 300 global leaders gathered at a high level event convened by the MDG Advocacy Group.

“The Millennium Development Goals have been the greatest anti-poverty push in history,” Mr. Ban said. “New partnerships have been established. New actors have been engaged. Now we must finish the job.”

The lives of millions of people worldwide have improved due to concerted efforts – at the global, regional, national and local levels – to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are eight broad goals with targets ranging from eradicating extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by 2015.

During the past two decades, the likelihood of a child dying before the age of five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children have been saved every day. The maternal mortality ratio dropped by 45 per cent. Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has saved 6.6 million lives. An estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted due to a major expansion of simple preventions, such as bed nets, and treatments. Efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved an estimated 22 million lives.

With many MDG targets already met – including reducing poverty, increasing access to clean drinking water, improving the lives of slum dwellers, and achieving gender parity in primary school – many more targets are also within reach by the end of 2015.

Global leaders call for action
The MDG Advocates convened a high-level event to showcase the successes of the eight MDGs to deliver a healthier, equitable and more sustainable future, and launched the MDG Advocates’ Leaders Report, which was presented by MDG Advocate Graça Machel.

The report, entitled “Accelerating Action: Global Leaders on Challenges and Opportunities for MDG Achievement.” features a range of contributions from 37 world leaders, including by the Secretary-General, MDG Advocacy Group Co-Chairs and members, Heads of State and Government, UN leaders, experts and champions of the MDGs, such as girls education champion Malala Yousafzai.

Invest in education, health, sanitation and agriculture
“All of us, whether in government, business, or civil society, have to keep pushing, not just to December 2015, but beyond,” write Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda. ”The MDG deadline, after all, is not the finish line of the race, and there will be neither medals nor rest.”

The unfinished business of the MDGs remains the focus of the MDG leaders who underlined the need to invest in education, adolescent girls and women’s empowerment, scaling up efforts to fight child and maternal mortality and investing agriculture as well as water and in sanitation to end open defecation.

One way to accelerate progress is to share innovations by learning from the experiences of others,” Prime Minister Solberg and President Kagame write. “We have to cultivate cross-sectorial efforts and broad partnerships in the year ahead so that we can accelerate synergies, including between education and health as well as gender equality. Our experience as leaders is that it is a common sense that often requires the most sustained advocacy.”

The gains derived from investing in the MDGs were underlined by experts, and MDG leaders such as Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser who stressed that “getting all children into basic education could boost economic growth by 2 per cent in low-income countries.”

Contributors to the report and MDG Advocates Jeffrey Sachs and Graça Machel write that, “African countries such as Malawi and Rwanda have shown how effective public-private investments in agriculture can multiply yields.”

“The UN’s Millennium Development Goals have allowed for unprecedented progress against some of our most pressing development challenges. Our efforts against malaria have helped to drive many of these advances,” said Executive Director of Roll Back Malaria, Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore “Sustained commitment and collaboration is essential to ensure continued progress and stands to yield incredible dividends — the global economic benefits from sustained malaria-control efforts alone between 2013 and 2035 have been estimated at US $207 billion.”

Innovative data analytics
As part of the United Nations ongoing efforts to highlight the tremendous progress made on the MDGs, an initiative to map official UN data in partnership with Microsoft was initiated. This new visualization, which can be seen at, represents an innovative approach to communicating progress made toward poverty eradication and galvanizes momentum for the final 500 days for MDG realization.

By using Microsoft’s Power View to demonstrate data in an accessible and digestible format, the aim is to tell the story of the progress made toward eradicating global poverty, and inspire continued global efforts.

About the Secretary-General’s Advocacy Group
To galvanize support for the Millennium Development Goals, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June 2010 established an Advocacy Group of eminent personalities who have shown outstanding leadership in promoting the implementation of the Goals — in such fields as education, food security, health, environment, and the empowerment of women. The Group supports the Secretary-General in building political will and mobilizing global action for the benefit of the poor and most vulnerable, aiming for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date.

For more information, see

Media Contact:
UN Department of Public Information
Mr. Wynne Boelt, +1 212 963 8264

United Nations Millennium Campaign and Microsoft Announce Partnership to take on Data Revolution

New York, NY – Wednesday 24th September 2014: New visualizations of 15 years worth of data on the Millennium Development Goals, five million citizen voices on the next development agenda and over two hundred million Twitter conversations were unveiled at an event hosted by Microsoft in their new Technology Center in Times Square.

The event will bring together members of the newly formed Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, leaders in the technology sector, civil society, UN representatives and private sector partners to explore these and other initiatives in a ‘Data Playground’.

“There is a great deal of talk on the data revolution and what exactly it means for the next development agenda. This event will showcase two main ways to demonstrate this ‘revolution’ – by showing new ways of understanding existing datasets, like we have on the MDGs; and how to form an understanding of new forms of data, such as from social media”, said Corinne Woods, director of the UN Millennium Campaign.

MDG Data –
5 Million Voices –
Twitter Analysis –

Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. As part of the UN Millennium Campaign’s ongoing efforts to highlight the tremendous progress made on the MDGs, we are launching an unprecedented initiative to map official UN data in partnership with Microsoft.

This new visualization represents an innovative approach to communicating progress made toward poverty eradication and galvanize momentum as we rally in the final 500 days for MDG realization. By using Power View to demonstrate data in an accessible and digestible format we can tell the story of the unprecedented progress made toward eradicating global poverty, and inspire continued global efforts. The visualization will be hosted on the new MDG Leaders website and compliment the virtual edition of the MDG Leaders Report.

For more information please contact:
UN Millennium Campaign – Gabo Arora at
UN Global Pulse – Jennifer Poole at
Microsoft – Kate Krukiel at