Download StudyGeneral

Study Overview

The Millennium Villages Project: A protocol for the final evaluation - Ethiopia
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:

The Millennium Villages Project is a ten-year integrated rural development project implemented in ten sub-Saharan African sites. The final evaluation of the MVP will include an adequacy assessment, impact evaluation, cost assessment, process evaluation, and description of systems design and tools for the ten sites. Taken together, this evaluation will assess the Millennium Villages Project’s model for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in rural sub-Saharan Africa. For the impact evaluation, one very important stage is the selection of control villages using a combination of matching and random selection. This process and its timing differs somewhat across the ten countries, requiring each country to be registered separately. This is the registration for Ethiopia. After the selection of comparison sub-villages, survey data will be collected and regression models fit to estimate causal effects on a variety of poverty, education, and health outcomes.

Registration Citation:

Sachs, J.D., 2015. The Millennium Villages Project: A protocol for the final evaluation - Ethiopia. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie057

Agriculture and Rural Development
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Water and Sanitation
Additional Keywords:
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Columbia University, The Earth Institute
Name of Second PI:

Intervention Overview


The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) was initiated in 2005 to implement the UN Millennium Project’s recommended interventions across multiple sectors in rural Africa. The MVP was piloted in Sauri, Kenya and Koraro, Ethiopia in 2005, and expanded in 2006 to include fourteen sites across ten countries covering roughly half-a-million inhabitants in total. The project is a village-cluster-level intervention to facilitate rural populations to achieve the MDGs and move whole communities toward self-sustaining economic growth. MVP interventions target extremely poor, rural communities and individuals within them, with a multi-sector approach addressing food production, nutrition, education, health services, roads, energy, communications, water supply and sanitation, enterprise diversification, environmental management, and business development. The MVP delivers diverse intervention packages, varying by site (country) to address differing community needs, resources, and priorities. In Ethiopia, MVP technologies and techniques include improved seed and fertilizer, improved cookstoves, insecticide-treated bednets, antiretroviral drugs, and community deworming.

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Other (specify)
Other (not Listed) Method:
We will use pre-treatment variables to match treatment to comparison sub-villages, then regression on treatment and pre-treatment variables in a multi-level Bayesian model fit to 2015 survey data.
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

We used DHS & geographic (not MVP baseline) data to find comparison areas that were similar to MVs in 2005. Algorithms selected 5 grid cells of size equal to the Ethiopia MV, minimizing distance in means & variances of pre-treatment variables between treatment & control. Sub-villages in matched grid cells were listed & 2015 pop estimates retrieved from Agriculture Offices and Planning and Finance Development Offices. For sub-village size comparability, we restrict selection to sub-villages within the MV pop range (1380-2550 people per sub-village as determined by the MVP 2014-15 demographic census). We randomly select one sub-village per grid cell (attached code to be public after data collection). If no sub-villages lie in the MV population range, we will select the sub-village closest in size to the range; if the selected sub-village is found to be outside the grid cell or its leadership refuses participation, we will select another sub-village from the original list (in the same order, except the excluded sub-village) using the original seed. We will collect 2015 survey data and regress outcomes on treatment & pre-treatment variables in multi-level Bayesian models.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The primary outcomes of interest, for both the adequacy assessment and impact evaluation, are a subset of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) indicators and proxies, including indicators of poverty alleviation, agriculture, education, gender equality, health, environmental sustainability, and infrastructure. What we refer to as “outcomes” are a mixture of output, outcome, and impact indicators. The complete list of outcomes is listed in the appendix of the attached protocol, including indicators such as the proportion of population below 1.25 USD per day, the poverty gap ratio, underweight, wasting, stunting, adjusted net attendance ratio in primary schools, gender parity in primary schools, infant, under-5, and maternal mortality rates, ANC coverage, skilled birth attendance, bed-net usage, HIV testing among pregnant women, malaria testing, access to improved drinking water and sanitation, etc.

Unit of Analysis:
Data will be analyzed at sub-village and unit (household and individual) levels. See attached protocol for more details.

We prefer not to frame our evaluation in terms of hypothesis testing, and instead will report estimates and intervals of uncertainty for treatment effects on health and economic development indicators. However, these intervals can be used to test the hypotheses that the MVP had no effect on each of these indicators. Our composite measure (mentioned above) can be used as an overall hypothesis test, should multiple comparisons be a concern.

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Interventions were implemented at a sub-village-cluster level. See attached protocol for more details.
Number of Clusters in Sample:
1 village cluster in the Ethiopia MV (3 sub-villages), 1 sub-village in each of 5 comparison areas, total 600 HH in Ethiopia.
Number of Individuals in Sample:
In Ethiopia, total number of expected household observations collected in the treatment areas are approximately 300, and in the comparison areas, approximately 300 as well.
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
In Ethiopia, total number of expected household observations collected in the treatment areas are approximately 300, and in the comparison areas, approximately 300 as well.

Outcomes Data

A HH survey will collect demography, assets, income, consumption, expenditure, education, and malaria bed net usage data. Sex-specific adult (15-49 years old) surveys will capture individual health data, a birth history, and child health. A food frequency questionnaire will be administered to adults. Anemia and malaria will be tested in children and adults (6-59 mos, 5-14 years old, 15-49 years old). Weight, height, length, and mid-upper-arm-circumference will be measured in children 6-59 mos.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:

Registration Category

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

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:


Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped