Scathing assessment of Jeff Sachs as development project implementor….

With almost every intervention, she documents the chasm that exists between the villagers and those running the project. At one point, the Millennium Villages Project persuades the farmers in Ruhiira to grow maize instead of their traditional crop, called matoke. “The results were fantastic,” she reports, a bumper crop. Except there were no buyers for the maize, so most of it wound up being eaten by rats. In Dertu, Sachs’s staff decided it should set up a livestock market. It flopped. Efforts to convince villagers to start small businesses largely failed. The critical problem of getting clean water to the villages was enormously expensive.

Ultimately, reports Munk, Dertu was abandoned by the Millennium Villages Project while Ruhiira is today lauded as one of the project’s most successful villages. “There is no question the lives of people in Ruhiira have been improved,” Munk told me. “I’ve seen it.” But she is dubious about what that means — other than the fact that if you pump millions of dollars into an isolated African village, the villagers’ lives will be better. (Sachs’s defenders say that most of her reporting was done before the project really found its footing.)

via Fighting Poverty, and Critics – NYTimes.com.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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One Response to Scathing assessment of Jeff Sachs as development project implementor….

  1. Leurre says:

    Please oh please google “Food for new Village Rwanda”- millions of dollars into isolated villages? Check. Awful implementation? Check. Slow implementation qualified by basic incompetence? Check. It has everything! Would that it were as famous as Sachs so that more people would pay attention to it.

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