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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of the SADA, Northern Ghana Millennium Village Project
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The study evaluates the impact of the SADA (Savannah Accelerated Development Authority), Northern Ghana Millennium Village project implemented by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The project started in 2012 and will complete its first phase in 2017. It consists of an integrated approach to development based on coordinated investments in agriculture, education, health and infrastructure with the goal of achieving MDG targets and breaking the poverty trap. The Millennium Village project covers a cluster of 34 communities and 35,000 individuals (5,000 households) are beneficiaries of a package of interventions worth £11.5 million. The evaluation is based on a difference-in-differences design. Data are collected every year from 34 project and 68 control sites starting with a baseline conducted in 2012. All MDG indicators are tracked in addition to other living standard indicators such as: poverty, agricultural incomes, child mortality, school attendance, test scores, anaemia, and anthropometry. Qualitative research and cost-effectiveness analysis are important components of the study.

Registration Citation:

Masset, E., 2015. Impact Evaluation of the SADA, Northern Ghana Millennium Village Project. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie043

Agriculture and Rural Development
Health, Nutrition, and Population
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Edoardo Masset
Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex
Name of Second PI:

Study Sponsor

Department for International Development (DFID)
Study Sponsor Location:
United Kingdom

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Participatory Development Associates (PDA)
Type of Organization:
NGO (local) or other civil society organization

Intervention Overview


The project consists of an integrated approach to development based on coordinated investments in agriculture, education, health and infrastructure. The first phase focuses on achieving "quick wins" (vaccinations, distribution of mosquito bednets, vitamin A, fertiliser, and seeds), while the second phase focuses on infrastructural improvements and the consolidation of the gains in agriculture (water and sanitation; roads; grid infrastructure; microfinance; cooperative-based business; extension training and storage; and crop diversification). The project started in 2012 and will complete its first phase in 2017 with an expected number of 35,000 beneficiaries. All individuals residing in the 34 villages selected for the intervention are beneficiaries. The cluster of intervention was selected in collaboration with the Ghanaian government through SADA for being one of the poorest areas of the country and is located in the Districts of Builsa and West Mamprusi. The goal of the project is achieving the MDG targets and ultimately breaking the poverty trap for these rural communities. The project is supported by £11.5 million funding from DFID over a 5-year period.

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Earth Institute at Columbia University
Type of Organization:
Research Institution/University

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Department for International Development
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Difference in difference/fixed effects
Other (not Listed) Method:
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Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The evaluation compares changes in outcome variables in project and control areas over a 5 year period using a difference-in-differences approach. The comparison is made more robust by combining DD with matching using inverse probability weighting. Retrospective data on past trends in outcomes from villages and households were also collected at the baseline to improve balancing across groups at the analysis stage. There are 34 project communities and 68 control communities. Control communities were selected from the same 2 districts in which the programme is implemented by one-to-one matching using census covariates (from 2000 and 2010 censuses) and other village-level variables collected in the field. Control communities were stratified by distance into "near" and "far" communities in order to detect spill-over effects.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

Primary outcomes are the official MDGs: Proportion of population below national poverty line, Poverty gap ratio, Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age, Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption, Net enrolment ratio in primary education, Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary, Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men, Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education, Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector, Under-five mortality rate, Infant mortality rate, Proportion of 1 year-old children immunised against measles, Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel, Contraceptive prevalence rate, Antenatal care coverage, Proportion of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS,Proportion of children under 5 sleeping under insecticide-treated bednets, Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source, Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility. Secondary outcomes included: prevalence of anaemia and malaria, cognitive skills tests, math and English test scores.

Unit of Analysis:
The level of analysis varies with the outcome indicator. Some indicators are measured at the household level (poverty) some at the individual level (literacy) some at child level (anthropometry).

Two main hypothesis are tested; 1. Project success in achieving the MDGs target for this sample of villages 2. Project success in achieving the MDGs in a sustainable way by breaking poverty traps

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
A cluster of 34 villages (project villages are adjacent to each other)
Number of Clusters in Sample:
34 clusters
Number of Individuals in Sample:
2,250 households and approximately 15,000 individuals
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Project group: 34 villages and 750 households. Control group: 68 villages and 1,500 households.

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Analysis Plan MVP Ghana.docx
Other Documents:
Baseline report and Appendices A and B: Baseline report and Appendices A and B.pdf
Appendix C: Appendix C.pdf
Appendix D: Appendix D.pdf
Appendix E: Appendix E.pdf
Appendix F: Appendix F.pdf
Appendix G: Appendix G.pdf
Appendix H: Appendix H.pdf
Appendix I: Appendix I.pdf
Appendix J: Appendix J.pdf

Outcomes Data

The study collects data at the village level (prices, infrastructure, covariate shocks), at the household level (using an LSMS-type multipurpose questionnaire including full expenditure and income modules) and at the individual level (using a DHS-type questionnaire). Additional modules on anaemia and malaria (both based on blood samples), anthropometry of children under-5, cognitive skills, math and language test scores and time preference attitudes were also collected.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped