Richard Jolly was Special Advisor to the Administrator of UNDP between1995 and 2002, principal architect of the annual Human Development Report and a champion for the 20/20 initiative. Jo Bealls writes about him in Fifty Key Thinkers on Development (edited by Simon, 2005):
“In the first co-authored volume of [a 12-volume history of the UN’s] economic and social contribution, Ahead of the Curve (Emmerij et al., 2001) Jolly is dismissive of concerns about the origin and ownership of ideas, emphasising instead their impact and spread and he is firm that the UN has played an important role in this regard. In a paper written in preparation for the Human Development Report 2003 (Jolly, 2003) he appealed for a more nuanced and flexible interpretation of success in terms of achieving UN goals. Too often, he argued, UN development projects are considered ‘failures’ because global goals are only partially or regionally met, when in fact huge progress has been achieved. If setting global goals is to be valuable and successful, he contended, ‘it is important now to plan for partial success and partial failure, not for the extremes of either total success or total failure’ , especially in the cases of the least developed countries.”
Has there been wider agreement of Jolly’s view that the UN should plan for partial rather than total success or failure? If so, to what extent has this been implemented and with what results?
EMMERIJ, L., JOLLY, R. & WEISS, T. G. 2001. Ahead of the curve?: UN ideas and global challenges, Indiana Univ Pr.
JOLLY, R. 2003. Global Goals–the UN experience. Background paper for the Human Development Report, 85–110.
SIMON, D. 2005. Fifty Key Thinkers on Development, Taylor & Francis.