19 October 2011

Evaluation of the Millennium Villages Project, interesting exchange on methods

The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) was launched in 2006 as part of the effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). UNDP is the Project’s implementing partner and the project is supported by among others the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Currently 80 Millennium Villages are clustered into 14 different sites in 10 countries. Each cluster site is located in a distinct agro-ecological zone which together and the project should reach around 500.000 people. The main premise of the project was to develop an innovative integrated approach to rural development, the MVP simultaneously addresses the challenges of extreme poverty in many inter-connected areas: agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, gender equality and business development.

There is an interesting debate going on regarding the evaluation of this very complex project consisting of different interventions in a variety of geographical settings. There are some who are doubtful about the methods used for the evaluation and therefore the results. While others defend the approach used for evaluation. The HIA community will surely find very interesting this exchange as it is not dissimilar from our own discussions about methodology and tools.