Assessing the performance of the least developed countries in terms of the Millennium Development Goals

Eval Program Plann. 2019 Feb:72:54-66. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2018.09.009. Epub 2018 Sep 29.


This article presents a proposal for assessing the progress of least developed countries towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals over the period 2000-2015. Composite indices are built to perform spatial and temporal benchmarking relying on the P2 Distance method. The results are contrasted with other indices developed under a multi-criterion approach with a double reference point. The main findings are that all the countries have improved their situation and country disparities have been reduced. Cambodia and Ethiopia have registered the best trends and South Sudan and Timor-Leste show the worse performance. Considering the position in the 2015 ranking, Rwanda and Bhutan performed the best, while Somalia and Chad rank in the last position. Having now reached the end of the Millennium Development Goals period, the gap with respect to the world average indicates that much work remains to be done in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Keywords: Africa; Composite indices; Human development; Least developed countries; Millennium development goals; Poverty.

MeSH terms

  • Child Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status*
  • Global Health
  • Goals*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Poverty
  • Program Evaluation
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Nations
  • Women's Rights / statistics & numerical data*