November 30, 2010

Gabriel Demombynes and Michael Clemens published a paper recently lamenting the lack of a rigorous (randomized) evaluation of the Millennium Development Villages Project.

Whilst we can’t [yet?] give you that, we can give you something pretty similar.

IPA is working with a nonprofit The Hunger Project to evaluate their “EpiCenter” strategy – building community centers in villages to provide a holistic set of services in a sustainable manner.

The key features of the Millenium Villages Project model are:

  • Evidence-based interventions covering multiple sectors,
  • Participatory community decision-making,
  • Environmental sustainability,
  • Scale-up and focus on the Millenium Development Goals.

 

The key features of The Hunger Project model are: 

  • Evidence-based interventions covering multiple sectors,
  • Participatory community decision-making,
  • Environmental sustainability,
  • Scale-up and focus on the Millenium Development Goals.

 

Yes, those 2 lists are identical.

There are differences between the projects, but they are similar enough to demonstrate that randomized evaluation can work for this kind of project.

Rigorous evaluation has a growing profile, but it is still sufficiently rare in the aid world that those organizations that are brave enough to submit their activities to proper impact evaluation deserve our recognition and admiration.

The Hunger Project - we salute you!

The project is still underway, but watch this space for the eventual results! For more on their project see here, and for more on the Millennium Villages controversy, see here.