This year at the United Nations Foundation we have been focusing on the idea of “Going Bold”, inspired largely by our founder and chairman Ted Turner’s $1 billion gift to work toward the goals of the UN. We cannot have this conversation without including the work and impact that Bill Gates has made through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates, a leader in global development, released his annual letter and report yesterday to rally support around innovation, measurement and impact. The report is an important reminder that the role of measurement and evaluation is a critical component in addressing global challenges effectively. “I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition,” Gates says in his letter.

As the world rallies to achieve the MDG goals by 2015, Gates sentiment could not be truer. “The MDGs have become a report card for how the world is performing against major problems affecting the poor.” As 2015 nears, we are faced with choosing new goals to help create a better, safer and healthier world. Gates calls on all of us to help create those goals, and most importantly to create tools to help measure our successes and failures and build upon what is working.  Through lessons learned and improved measurement tools, we can deliver stronger results.

This is a year of opportunities that can bring together UN partners, governments, civil society organizations and businesses on key issues ranging from promoting reproductive health to advancing a global dialogue around international development. As bold global leaders, innovation and effective integration of measurement and evaluation will be the key to catalyze impact and change around the world.

The future possibilities are endless, if we follow Bill Gates and Ted Turner’s example, and Go Bold.

Photo Credit: Guy Levy/BBC