IDS to support impact evaluation of new Millennium Villages Project in Ghana
IDS is contributing to the impact evaluation of a new Millennium Villages project in Ghana which has just been launched. The impact evaluation team will be led ITAD. Other partners include the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London) and Participatory Development Associates (PDA), Ghana. There are also inputs provided by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (University of Ghana).
From 2012, the Project will work for five years with a cluster of around 30 villages and 30,000 people. The UK Department for International Development (DfID) is providing funds for the Project, alongside support for an independent impact evaluation.
What is the Millennium Villages Project?
The Millennium Villages Project is designed to show how an integrated approach to community-led development can translate the international MDG agreements into results throughout rural sub-Saharan Africa. The Project is a ten-year initiative that was first piloted in Kenya and Ethiopia in 2005. It is currently working in twelve sites located in ten African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda).
The Millennium Villages model provides an integrated package of interventions, delivered simultaneously rather than as one-off investments. The aim is that this concentrated investment will provide a 'big push' to lift rural communities out of the 'poverty trap' and on to self-sustaining economic growth. By working in several sectors at once, the expectation is that there is more to be gained. Benefits are also expected to spill over into neighbouring areas.
Why is an impact evaluation important?
In recent years, there has been much criticism over the extent to which results can be attributed to the Millennium Villages. While the Project has its own monitoring and evaluation system for assessing progress and informing implementation decisions, there has been a lack of independent and rigorous evaluation. DfID has therefore initiated an independent impact evaluation, with the aim of improving our understanding about the effectiveness of the Millennium Villages model to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs in Africa.
The evaluation seeks to find out whether the model delivers on promises to reach the MDGs within the Millennium Village site. The evaluation is also concerned with finding out whether the model provides a more effective way of using resources, and in particular:
(i) whether the simultaneous Millennium Village investment has produced effects in excess of the sum of the individual investments (multiplier effects);
(ii) whether this has led to spill-over effects beyond the immediate site;
(iii) whether the changes are sustainable after the direct intervention has finished; and,
(iv) whether this is the most cost-effective way to achieve comparable results.
Is the evaluation independent?
The evaluation is independent and led by people with no other involvement in the Millennium Villages Project. This is important to prevent bias, either real or perceived. Furthermore, the evaluation design and findings are scrutinised by an independent Peer Review Group, coordinated by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
Related Content - News & Blogs
Related Content - Events
The Search for Stability through Stabilisation: Case Studies from Afghanistan and Nepal
28 May 2013 13:00 to 14:30
Room 221, Institute of Development Studies
India’s dream run, 2003-2008
29 May 2013 13:00 to 14:30
Room 221, IDS
Will the BRICS Bank change development and shift the global balance of power?
11 June 2013 18:00 to 19:30
Committee Room 16, House of Commons