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New Millennium Villages Project Launched In Northern Ghana

The Guardian examines a new Millennium Villages Project (MVP) — “the integrated approach to rural development spearheaded by Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University’s Earth Institute” — that was launched last week in northern Uganda “by Ghana’s new president John Dramani Mahama and U.K. international development secretary Andrew Mitchell.” According to the newspaper, “Like the 13 other MVP sites … the project will attempt to provide a package of proven, science-based interventions for agriculture, education, health and rural infrastructure.”

“Sachs has come under fire recently after critics found serious flaws in the MVP’s evaluation methods and argued results were overstated or impossible to verify,” the Guardian writes, noting, “The new MVP will, for the first time, be independently evaluated.” Goals of the new MVP include “increas[ing] contraception use among married women, from eight percent to 35 percent,” “increas[ing] the number of children sleeping under insecticide-treated bednets to 80 percent, halv[ing] the under-five mortality rate, and ensur[ing] 90 percent of children finish primary school, in line with the Millennium Development Goals,” the newspaper writes (Hirsch, 8/31).