Global survey release by Glocalities at the eve of the Centennial anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and Obama’s speech honoring Mandela on July 17 in Johannesburg.
A 26-country survey conducted by Glocalities among 31,786 people reveals that 84% of the world population mistakenly thinks that extreme poverty has either increased or stayed the same. In reality, extreme poverty has decreased by 50% in the last two decades (UNDP figure). Mandela urged world leaders in 2005 to ‘’act with courage and vision’’ to make poverty history. Although the world is already halfway through the race for realizing his dream, people are very pessimistic and uninformed about progress made. A lack of hope undermines the UN Global Goals campaign. The mood of pessimism is especially prevalent in the Western world and fuels divisive populist movements. Amsterdam-based research agency Glocalities conducted the global survey in cooperation with Global Citizen and with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The interviews were held in January and February 2018.
The 16% of people who are aware of the progress in the fight against global poverty are far more hopeful about the future when compared to the majority who are not aware of progress. These people, especially Millennial leaders, are also much more positive about the future of gender equality, international stability and living conditions for people around the world. They can make the difference needed for realizing the 17 UN Global Goals by 2030, such as no poverty, quality education, climate action, decent work and economic growth.
Obama addresses Millennial leaders in his speech honouring Mandela on July 17.
Glocalities Research Director Martijn Lampert: “The best news of our generation goes mostly unnoticed. The time has come to let the world know that we are already halfway through the race in eradicating extreme poverty. Millennials can become the great generation Mandela envisioned.’’
Global Citizen Policy Director Michael Sheldrick: ‘’The survey results are alarming. In these times of uncertainty, we need leaders who can inspire and rally public momentum behind the Global Goals for Sustainable Development’’.
The Glocalities report advises taking the Global Goals Campaign to the next level. Global Citizen organizes the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 honouring Mandela.
The survey that has been conducted in 26 countries for the second time shows that especially in developing economies such as China and India people are more aware of the progress made than people from advanced economies (mainly western countries). In advanced economies, people are hugely unaware of progress made and far less optimistic about the future compared to the developing world.
The late Nelson Mandela stated in a speech for the Make Poverty History Campaign on the day before the 2005 G7 finance ministers meeting in London: ‘’Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings… Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation… Of course, the task will be not easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up.’’
The Glocalities survey shows that knowledge of progress made in eradicating extreme poverty is strongly correlated with positive expectations about the future on a variety of issues. The minority of people who are aware of the fact that extreme poverty has decreased (16% worldwide) have a far more positive outlook on the future of the world. Among this group, the vast majority (69%) expect improving living conditions for people around the world in the coming 15 years. Among the people who are unaware of progress made only 20% expect better living conditions for people around the world. The people who are aware of the decrease in extreme poverty are more optimistic about the future of gender equality, about which Mandela said: ‘’As long as the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure’’.
The huge gap in hope and optimism between the minority that is aware of progress and the majority that is not aware of the positive developments (the rest of the world) is also visible with respect to a variety of other issues, such as future living conditions for people’s own families, the future of the worlds poorest people, but also with respect to the future of international security, education and health (see page 12 of the report). Hope based on (knowledge of) progress is pivotal for overcoming global pessimism and divides between people. People are more pessimistic if they do not see progress in their own lives and communities.
The knowledge of progress made in extreme poverty eradication has not improved since the first survey held just after the launch of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development 3 years ago. The new survey results are alarming for the Global Goals Community that consists of government, company and NGO leaders around the world. With the current mood of pessimism, the Global Goals campaign is not going to succeed in its mission to increase positive momentum and support among the world population for the 17 Global Goals set to be met by 2030 (such as No poverty, Gender equality, Quality education, Decent work and economic growth).
The amount of people who say they have a fair to good knowledge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030 has risen only slightly from 8% in 2016 to 10% in 2018.
The hopeful people who are aware of the progress made in eradicating extreme poverty (11% in advanced economies and 21% in upcoming economies) worldwide are more likely to be Millennials (born after 1980). They consider themselves global citizens, are already better informed about the UN Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030, are more convinced that they can make a difference and are ready to take action on issues that they are concerned about (e.g., volunteer, donate, discuss topics with other people). Due to their higher level of knowledge, their characteristics and drive to take the lead this group can play a crucial role in (re-)energizing the campaign for the Sustainable Development Goals. The Glocalities survey explains the importance of tapping into cultural and lifestyle differences between potential Millennial activists for taking the Global Goals campaign to the next level.
‘’For the Global Goals campaign to succeed in creating public momentum and support, the Sustainable Development Goals need to be made urgent and locally relevant. People lose hope if they do not see light at the end of the tunnel and progress in their own lives and communities. When they lack knowledge of progress, their capacity to broaden the horizon to other parts of the world is severely limited.’’
‘’The current lack of positivity and knowledge about progress made are a major threat for the Global Goals campaign to succeed in its ambition of creating engagement and support for the Global Goals among the world population at large.’’
‘’The best news of our generation goes largely unnoticed. The time has come to let the world know that we are already half way through the race in eradicating extreme poverty. Every day 250,000 people get out of extreme poverty. Millennials can become the great generation Mandela envisioned.’’
Recognizing the need to educate Millennials and engage them in the Global Goals, international advocacy organization Global Citizen on Monday, July 9 announced the lineup for the first Global Citizen festival to be held in Africa, a free-ticketed event on Sunday, 2 December 2018 at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg. Activists and music fans can begin to earn their tickets starting in August 21st and can sign up at globalcitizen.org.za. Actions include emailing world leaders, signing petitions, and using social media to generate commitments in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Cassper Nyovest, D'banj, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Femi Kuti, Pharrell Williams & Chris Martin, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher, Wizkid
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, who both serve as co-chairs of the UN Secretary General’s Advocacy Group for the Sustainable Development Goals, President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Gilbert F. Houngbo,President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, Board Director of The Power of Nutrition, and Peter Sands, Executive Director of the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for young people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030. The organization has taken its action-based model to Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and Canada and created a platform for activists to learn about the issues they care most about, take action, and earn rewards for doing so.
The survey results are alarming and highlight the dangers of complacency. In these times of uncertainty, now more than ever we need leaders who are able to inspire, renew and rally public momentum behind the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and achieving a world without extreme poverty by 2030’’.
‘’Inspired by one of the greatest global citizens’ of our time, and taking into account results of this global survey, the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 will be a historic and unprecedented event that promises to be the largest campaign to achieve the Global Goals that the world has ever witnessed. Together, we can Be the Generation that ends extreme poverty.’’
For more information about the survey:
For more information about Global Citizen:
Facts about extreme poverty reduction
The United Nations Development Program estimates that 250,000 people get out of extreme poverty every single day: See the figures, movie clip and read about some of these people at the UNDP website. Or read the book Factfulness of the late Hans Rosling from the Gapminder Foundation.
About Glocalities and the survey:
Glocalities is an Amsterdam based international research agency and part of Motivaction International. The values-based Glocalities survey was conducted in two phases in January and February 2018. The survey was held in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. In the first phase of the study, 61,213 respondents participated. The questions about the SDGs were posed during the second phase of the project, in which 31,786 re-contacted people from the first phase completed a follow-up questionnaire. The study was conducted through the online research panels of SSI and Lightspeed GMI, two agencies that are specialized in international fieldwork.
Quotas were set beforehand and the datasets were weighted according to national census data. Each country has an equal weight in the total dataset when conducting international analyses. The questionnaire was conducted in 17 languages and was translated from the English source questionnaire by professional translators. The translated texts were then back-translated by other professional translators. For more information about the survey methodology, see the report or contact Glocalities Research Director Martijn Lampert (see contact details above).
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