Improving Rural Health and Eliminating Extreme Poverty: A Case Study on the Millennium Villages Project

Project Description

The evaluative case study on the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) reviewed early experience with a multisectoral rural development project in rural African communities. The goal of the MVP is to put the key recommendations of the UN Millennium Project into practice at the village level to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at a cost of US$ 110 per capita per year on an accelerated timeline of five to ten years as a proof-of-concept project. Of the 12 MVP sites, this case study was carried out in the first MVP site in Sauri, Kenya, where interventions had been fully implemented and outcomes documented over a period of three years. While the emphasis of the case study was on the distinctive aspects of the integrated development process based on implementation experiences in three mutually reinforcing sectors (i.e. health, agriculture and education), the case study also reviewed the local-level institutional and policy environment in which the MVP is executed.

According to our case study, the MVP demonstrates that integrated interventions that simultaneously address the issues of availability, acceptability and accessibility are feasible and can lead to high-impact programs at the village level. While MVP’s efforts to build community capacity and engagement in their own development challenges will be likely to persist beyond the project term, larger-scale public investment is necessary, for instance, in public sector staffing and roads, telecommunications, and input and output marketing systems to ensure the sustainability of project achievements within the project area and the scalability of the approach to other rural communities in Kenya. Governments and donors need to become more flexible and establish mechanisms to facilitate intersectoral synergies and increase their responsiveness to community priorities.

Project Details

Principal Investigator Yesim Tozan
  • Joel Negin, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • James Ogola Wariero, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) / MDG Centre East and Southern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, and The Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, United States of America
Country(ies) Kenya
Dates of Research 2007-2009