Gabriel Demombynes and Michael Clemens have proposed a low-cost way to add significant rigor to the Millennium Villages Project evaluation. A healthy debate ensued. The World Bank scheduled a public discussion between Clemens/Demombyne and senior MVP staff for October 27th. That public discussion was canceled for unknown reasons.
We believe that everyone, including the MVP, would benefit from a public discussion of how best to evaluate the impact of the project.
This petition is not an endorsement of the Clemens/Demombynes position or the MVP position. We simply want to hear the viewpoints discussed publicly.
Therefore we are asking the Center for Global Development, the World Bank and the Millennium Villages Project to reschedule the discussion and make it accessible to the public.
For the full background see this post on Philanthropy Action.
To “sign” the petition, click on the “comments” link beside the post title, sign in with Disqus, and add your name and affiliation.
Dennis Whittle, Global Giving
Tom Murphy, A View From The Cave
Paul Hudnut, CSU, @BOPreneur
Saundra Schimmelpfennig, Good Intentions Are Not Enough
Chris Blattman, www.chrisblattman.com
Paul Atherton, Institute for Education
Kate Vyborny, D. Phil Candidate, University of Oxford
Lucas Robinson, London, UK
Holden Karnofsky, GiveWell
Laura Freschi, Development Research Institute
Ben Taylor, Executive Director, Daraja
Vivekananda Nemana, AidWatch
Jacob A. Geller, the Millennium Campus Network
I am signing because if there is a cheap and effective way to better our understanding of how to fight extreme poverty, then we should want to know about it. And if Mr. Demombynes and Mr. Clemens are mistaken, then we should want to know that as well. There is no reason not to discuss something as important as the MVPs, especially when important institutions and fine scholars are involved. We should all be in favor of enhancing the visibility of academic debates.
Please add my name to the petition. I work for the AidWatch blog, and we most certainly support both good evaluation of aid and public discussion of aid/evaluation methodologies.
Vivekananda Nemana, AidWatch
I would like to hear both sides.
— Nicolas Arguello
I agree with Ogden, especially when he says:
“The entire development and philanthropy community, and the MVP, can only benefit from an open and honest conversation about how to best evaluate the MVP. This is not just an esoteric discussion. Tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, at the very least, are going to be directly affected by the evaluation of the MVP. Ensuring that we have the best possible evaluation within reasonable constraints should be a priority for everyone.”
Reason for signing the petition: I want to know about accountability regarding the Mil. Villages. What’s working and what isn’t? Let’s not throw money away. I want to know what Dr. Sachs has to say about the success or failures of the projects. Let’s see data showing community income growth and a reduction in poverty.
This is an important discussion to share the accomplishments and challenges of the ambitious Millennium Villages Project. How’s it working? How might it work better?
Paul Hudnut (@BOPreneur)