Millennium Village Project evaluation results published in journal article

The Journal of Development Economics has published an article presenting the statistical results of the impact evaluation of the Northern Ghana Millennium Village Project (MVP).

The evaluation, which was carried out by Itad in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Participatory Development Associates, found that the impacts of MVP on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicators were small and core welfare indicators remained unaffected. Authors Edoardo Masset, Jorge Garcia-Hombrados and Arnab Acharya argue that the MVP did not achieve its aims due to poor project design, excessively high expectations and the redundancy of the interventions carried out.

The paper also highlights lessons learnt. It concludes that resources could have been saved, and a more effective programme could have been designed, if an evaluation of MVP had been built in its early stages of implementation. Evidence also demonstrated that implementing several interventions in different sectors at the same time, contrary to expectations, does not automatically ensure the emergence of complementarities and cost-saving synergies.

This study on the MVP is unique for various reasons. Firstly, it measured the largest number of MDG indicators, including outcomes that are hard to measure, such as child mortality or malaria incidence. Secondly, it is the only study assessing the cost-effectiveness of the MVP. Finally, the authors also point out that, unlike previous studies, theirs was fully independent and underwent several rounds of scrutiny.

The SADA-Northern Ghana Millennium Village Project was one of 15 Millennium Village projects implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2006 by the Millennium Promise, the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the United Nations Development Program. The project was designed following the recommendations of the United Nations Millennium Project to show that the MDGs could be achieved in rural Africa at a small geographic scale and at relatively small cost through interventions in multiple sectors

The article ‘Aiming high and falling low: The SADA-Northern Ghana Millennium Village Project’ is published online.

Check out our resources on the MVP.