Agroecology from A to Z

Adventures in Agroecology and Food Systems

Quick Note on Development, sovereignty, and the Millennium Villages Project

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We just read an article (Patel, et al. 2009) critiquing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s development work in Africa, along with the follow up exchange of letters to the editor in my course “Security, Equality and Ecology of the Global Food System”. Working with first year college students, how do we begin to make sense of the internal battles within global food and agriculture-related development? Who assesses the “success” of a development project? My friend and colleague M. Jahi Chapell weighs in…

AgroEcoPeople

Just spent the afternoon scratching an itch I had to look at the research on the Millennium Villages Project, which aims to end extreme poverty, with a focus on Africa. It is headed by noted economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University (with whom I had a mild disagreement years ago at a conference about whether Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen‘s research on hunger and food supply were generally applicable*). Long** and the short** of it is that results are iffy; it’s not clear that the Millennium Villages (MVs) are doing much better than other villages or national averages in those countries on most or all of the (18-22) measured variables (regarding education, health, infant mortality, etc.), and country-wide progress in improving quality of life in many of the studied areas may account for much, if not all, positive effects in the few variables where MVs do

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One thought on “Quick Note on Development, sovereignty, and the Millennium Villages Project

  1. Allison, I like your blog. Lots of great experiences. How can I email you. I want to follow up to your visit to Oregon. I meet you at the Sherwood Grow Poultry club.

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