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Tag Archives: Millennium Villages Project

Beware the fury of a patient man: Michael Clemens on Millennium Villages

Michael Clemens at the Center for Global Development is a very calm,  judicious, sensible guy. But even he has finally lost patience with the lack of any serious evaluation of the Millennium Villages:

Why a Careful Evaluation of the Millennium Villages is Not Optional

UPDATE (3/20, 8:16am) Chris Blattman adds his take on this.

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged 5 Comments

New York Times on Millennium Villages

Jeffrey Gettleman reports today from Sauri, Kenya on the debate on the Millennium Villages.

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , 19 Comments

Who gets the Last Seat on the Plane? Why Aid Hates Economics

Not long ago, I was returning home from a trip when the airline bumped me from my flight due to overbooking. The airline rep was very sympathetic, but I didn’t want her sympathy, I wanted A Seat On the Plane. She had traded off my wishes against those of other passengers, and I lost.

Economists are unpopular because we say there is always SOME resource that is overbooked in aid, and aid is Forced to…

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , , , 15 Comments

Millennium Villages Comments, We Respond

We received the following comment this morning from the Director of Communications at the Earth Institute, regarding the Aid Watch blog published yesterday, Do Millennium Villages Work? We May Never Know. My response is below.
It’s unfortunate that the author of this post chose to publish such an uninformed blog on the Millennium Village Project’s monitoring and evaluation activities. She and William Easterly at Aid Watch were invited to meet with our…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged Comments Off

Can We Push for Higher Expectations in Evaluation? The Millennium Villages Project, continued

There’s been some good discussion—here in the comments of yesterday’s post and on other blogs—on the Millennium Villages and what sort of evaluation standard they can (realistically) and should (ideally) be held to.

Yesterday on Aid Thoughts, Matt was distressed that over 70 percent of the student body at Carleton University voted in a tuition hike—$6 per student, per year, every year—to fund the Millennium Villages. The students apparently concluded that the MV…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Metrics and evaluation | 12 Comments

Do Millennium Villages work? We may never know

Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages Project has to date unleashed an array of life-saving interventions in health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure in 80 villages throughout ten African countries.

The goal of this project is nothing less than to “show what success looks like.” With a five-year budget of $120 million, the MVP is billed as a development experiment on a grand scale, a giant pilot project that could revolutionize the way development aid is done.…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , , , , 21 Comments

Five simple principles for scaling up in aid

There is a lot of discussion in aid on scaling up small-scale successes in aid to reach many more potential beneficiaries. But what things can be scaled up? Here are some principles so simple that they would be embarrassing except that they are routinely violated in aid.

(1) Scale up success not failure

The only reason for mentioning this is that the aid business has a strange habit of trying to scale up again

Posted in Big ideas, Economics principles | 11 Comments

Should starving people be tourist attractions?


Senegalese entrepreneur Magatte Wade on the Huffington Post touched a raw nerve about condescension towards Africans. She noted that a tourism operator was marketing one of Jeff Sachs’ Millennium Villages (MVs) as a vacation destination and quoted from the brochure “Please do not give anything to the villagers — no sweets.”

I decided to look more into the MV tourism project, not to pile on, but because I believe patronizing attitudes towards Africans…

Posted in Cognitive biases, Poverty | Also tagged 41 Comments