I. Information and Communication Technology and Development: Understanding the Millennium Villages Project: Our Situational Context

The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is a partnership between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Millennium Promise and the United Nations Development Programme. It is founded on the concept that the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved in even the poorest and most remote rural communities in Africa by "combining the best scientific and local knowledge to chart a course for ground-level, community-based support for agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and business development."

The MVP operations take place at 12 sites in 10 different countries. All sites are characterized by (INFO HERE). Although each site exhibits these similarities, each village is part of a distinct culture and has its own unique resources and challenges. This heterogeneity poses a challenge for the development of a single Community Based Information System (CBIS). Because location mattersin development, no single CBIS will be put in place, but elements from our research will be used to inform location-specific CBIS.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of undernourishment in the world, with one-third of the population below the minimum level of nourishment.
  • At least one million people in Africa die from malaria each year, 90 percent of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • A woman living in sub-Saharan Africa has a 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy. This compares with a 1 in 3,800 risk for a woman from North America.
  • More than 50 percent of Africans suffer from water-related diseases such as cholera and infant diarrhea.
  • In one out of four African countries, half the children enrolled in the last year of primary school do not pursue their studies the following year.