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The Millennium Villages

mvp_map.JPGThe 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 matters in 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.

(bullets pulled from

Unifying Characteristics of the Millennium Villages Project*------------------------------------- ------------------

  • Hunger hotspots where chronic hunger is widespread
  • Often accompanied by a high prevalence of disease, lack of access to medical care, and a severe lack of infrastructure
  • In countries where the national governments are committed to achieving the MDGs
  • Linked to national–level processes to ensure that the success can be scaled up by governments
  • Operated at a cost of $110 per person/year
  • Equipped with basic radio and mobile phone infrastructure.

*This is not currently the case for all sites, but will be the case of any sites where our CBIS model would apply.

The Millennium Villages Project and Information & Communication Technology (ICTs)

A. The MVP ICT Program Overview
Goal 1: Cell phone access within 2 km of 80% of households
Goal 2: 80% of households have access to local community radio where legal/economically viable
Goal 3: Institutional data connectivity
Goal 4: Functional community-wide emergency response community system

B. Mobile Technology in the MVP
Patricia Mechael, the Earth Institute's mHealth and telemedicine adviser, discusses the challenges of implementing mobile technology applications in the Millennium Villages.

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