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Metrics and evaluation

Millennium Villages: Moving the goalposts

Here on the blog, we’ve been following the progress of the Millennium Villages Project, a joint effort from the UN and Columbia’s Earth Institute that has introduced a package of development interventions in health, education, agriculture and infrastructure into 14 “clusters” of villages throughout 10 African countries.

World according to Blattman

Honoring Stealing from Chris Blattman’s great blog, I am reproducing some of his recent posts because they have been unusually fun & good and because I’m just too lazy to write my own blog today.
Favorite distorted maps of Africa:

Millennium Villages: don’t work, don’t know or don’t care?

UPDATE 10/16 12:25PM:  Tim Harford in FT also covers Clemens and Demombynes paper and gets response from Sachs.
In a new paper, Michael Clemens and Gabriel Demombynes ask:
When is the rigorous impact evaluation of development projects a luxury, and when a necessity?
The authors study the case of the Millennium Villages, a large, high-profile, project originally meant to demonstrate that a package of technology-based interventions in education, health and agriculture could lastingly propel people living in the poorest African villages out of poverty within five (now ten) years.

Millennium Villages: don’t work, don’t know or don’t care?

In a new paper, Michael Clemens and Gabriel Demombynes ask:
When is the rigorous impact evaluation of development projects a luxury, and when a necessity?
The authors study the case of the Millennium Villages, a large, high-profile, project originally meant to demonstrate that a package of technology-based interventions in education, health and agriculture could lastingly propel people living in the poorest African villages out of poverty within five (now ten) years.

Is Impact Measurement a Dead End?

This post was written by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.
We’ve spent the last few years watching the best donors and NGOs get more and more committed to the idea of measurable impacts. At first, the trend seemed unimpeachable. International donors have spent far too much money with far too few results. Focusing more on impact seemed like the way out of that trap.
But is it? The last couple of weeks have seen a spate of arguments from development thinkers rethinking this premise.

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