Research about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has tended to view them through the lens of policy-makers and development practitioners. Ignored is the question of how the people who are the 'targets' of development programmes - the poor and marginalized - experience the MDGs. Based on ethnographic research of a local non-government development organization (NGDO) in North India, I use the example of a village meeting to explore how policy formulated to achieve the MDGs at the central and state level is communicated to the local level. These interactions illustrate how local NGDOs attempt to cultivate 'model developing citizens', enrolling the poor into regimes of governmentality, in which their bodies become the means through which global and national goals are achieved. Although not necessarily negative, these processes reveal how state accountability and responsibility for achieving the MDGs implies obligations on the poor that they are not always able or willing to fulfil.