By Vanessa Bates Ramirez
Compared to life 100 years ago, life these days is pretty good by many measures. You’ve probably heard the statistics: poverty and infant mortality are down, life expectancy is up, and infectious diseases are being controlled, if not cured. In short, more humans than ever before are having their basic needs met, and it’s undeniable that the world is getting better.
What’s not so certain is whether we’re going to continue on this upward trajectory—and what it will take to do so.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s first Goalkeepers report, released last month, offers an in-depth look at the core issues that will determine the answers to these questions. The report covers 18 data points from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, from infant mortality to family planning to diseases like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.
On top of tracking statistics in these areas, the report identifies methods and innovations that have contributed to progress, and tells their stories. On the flip side, it pinpoints areas where advancement is lacking. “Goalkeepers” will be produced every year through 2030, timed for the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting.
Goalkeepers uses data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent research center within UW Medicine and one of the Department of Global Health's key partners.