The Global Monitoring Report 2013: Rural-Urban Dynamics andthe Millennium Development Goals examines rural-urbandisparities in the achievement of the Millennium DevelopmentGoals (MDGs) and how urbanization, if managed well, cancontribute to the attainment of these goals. The report providesinformation about the differences in progress toward the MDGsacross geographical areas and recognizes that urban populationsare better off than their rural brethren. However, unfetteredurbanization can cause migrants and the urban poor to end up inslums where attainment of the MDGs lags.GMR 2013 calls for an integrated strategy to better manage theplanning-connecting-financing formula of urbanization.Notwithstanding the importance of urbanization in povertyreduction and MDG attainment, rural areas remain a hugechallenge—one that underscores the importance of policies thatcan improve rural livelihoods. The rural-urban spectrum rangesfrom small towns to large cities. The general experience is thatpoverty is lowest in the largest cities and considerably higher insmaller towns. The MDGs reflect the basic needs of all citizens, andgovernments should aim to meet them fully in both urban and rural areas. However, resources are scarce, so priorities must be set andtrade-offs made. The report argues that the sequencing of actionsbe tailored to local conditions when it comes to the degree ofurbanization and rural-urban differences in MDG outcomes.The world has met four global MDG targets. New estimatesconfirm the 2012 reports that MDG 1.a—reducing the$1.25-a-day poverty rate (2005 purchasing power parity)—wasreached in 2010, falling below half of its 1990 value. The worldalso met part of MDG 7.c—to halve the proportion of peoplewithout safe access to drinking water—in 2010. MDG 7.d—toimprove significantly the lives of at least 100 million slumdwellers by 2020—was also achieved. Finally, the first part ofMDG 3.a—to eliminate gender disparity in primary education—was accomplished in 2010. Global progress on the full MDG 3.a(to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondaryeducation) is close to being on track.Global Monitoring Report 2013 was prepared jointly by theWorld Bank and the International Monetary Fund, withconsultations and collaborations with regional developmentbanks and other multilateral partners.