Asset Accumulation: An Alternative Approach to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Alfredo Stein, Philipp Horn

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The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are unlikely to be achieved by 2015, owing to conceptual flaws in their design as well as the structural and political constraints faced during implementation at the country level. While criticism of the MDGs is widespread, innovative ideas on addressing these operational challenges are still scanty. By reviewing a number of experiences, including those of the Foundation for the Promotion of Local Development (PRODEL) in Nicaragua and the Ministry of Cities in Brazil, this article highlights the importance of incorporating an asset-accumulation perspective into MDG-related policies and programmes as a way of generating an enabling environment that opens up new opportunities for poverty reduction in the cities of low- and middle-low-income countries. © 2012 Overseas Development Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-680
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopment Policy Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Asset accumulation
  • International donors
  • Local development
  • MDGs
  • Urban poverty reduction


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