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When Does Rigorous Impact Evaluation Make a Difference? The Case of the Millennium Villages

AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY BASELINE SURVEYS BULLETIN CENSUSES CHILD HEALTH CHILD MORTALITY CHILD MORTALITY RATE CHILD MORTALITY RATES CHILD SURVIVAL CHRONIC MALNUTRITION CLINICS COMMUNITIES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY HEALTH CORRELATIONS CORRUPTION COUNTERFACTUAL DATA COLLECTION DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONS DEVELOPMENT PLANS DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH DRINKING WATER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIC POLICIES EPIDEMIC EVALUATION METHODS EVALUATION RESULTS EXPERIMENTS FIELD EXPERIMENTS GENDER GENDER EQUALITY GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT GLOBAL POVERTY HEALTH INTERVENTIONS HIV HOSPITAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS HOUSEHOLDS HUMAN CAPITAL IMPACT EVALUATION IMPORTANT POLICY INCOME INFORMATION CAMPAIGNS INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY INTERVENTION INTERVENTIONS IRD LEARNING LIVE BIRTHS LIVELIHOOD LIVING CONDITIONS LIVING STANDARDS LOCAL ECONOMY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE MALARIA MATERNAL MORTALITY MEASLES MEASLES IMMUNIZATION MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOAL MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS MODERNIZATION MONITORING TEAMS NATIONAL GOVERNMENT NATIONAL LEVEL NATIONAL PLANS NATIONAL POLICY NATIONAL POPULATION NATURAL RESOURCE NEWBORNS NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS NURSE NUTRITION ORAL REHYDRATION SOLUTION PER CAPITA INCOME PILOT PROJECTS PLAN OF ACTION POLICY PROCESS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER POPULATION DATA POPULATION ESTIMATES POVERTY REDUCTION PRACTITIONERS PREGNANT WOMEN PRIMARY EDUCATION PRIMARY SCHOOL PROGRAM EFFECTS PROGRAMS PROGRESS PROJECT EVALUATION PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE PURCHASING POWER PURCHASING POWER PARITY QUANTITATIVE INDICATORS REGIONAL POPULATION REMITTANCE RESEARCH DESIGN RESEARCH WORKING PAPERS RESEARCHERS RESETTLEMENT RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS RURAL AREA RURAL AREAS RURAL POPULATION RURAL POVERTY SAMPLE SIZE SANITATION SANITATION FACILITIES SCARCE RESOURCES SCHOOL ATTENDANCE SCIENCES SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION SERVICE DELIVERY SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS SKILLED BIRTH ATTENDANCE SKILLED PERSONNEL SPILLOVER SURVEY DATA SURVIVAL RATE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH TRANSPARENCY TRANSPORTATION VALIDITY VILLAGES
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Africa | West Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa | East Africa | Nigeria | Ghana | Kenya
2012-03-19T18:42:51Z | 2012-03-19T18:42:51Z | 2010-11-01

When is the rigorous impact evaluation of development projects a luxury, and when a necessity? This Paper studies one high-profile case: the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), an experimental and intensive package intervention to spark sustained local economic development in rural Africa. it illustrates the benefits of rigorous impact evaluation in this setting by showing that estimates of the project's effects depend heavily on the evaluation method. Comparing trends at the MVP intervention sites in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria to trends in the surrounding areas yields much more modest estimates of the project's effects than the before-versus-after comparisons published thus far by the MVP. Neither approach constitutes a rigorous impact evaluation of the MVP, which is impossible to perform due to weaknesses in the evaluation design of the project's initial phase. These weaknesses include the subjective choice of intervention sites, the subjective choice of comparison sites, the lack of baseline data on comparison sites, the small sample size, and the short time horizon. The authors describe how the next wave of the intervention could be designed to allow proper evaluation of the MVP's impact at little additional cost.

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