University of Minnesota
University Relations

Whole Village Project

How We Work

Measuring Impact

A variety of research methods are used by the WVP to assess measurable changes in the lives of rural villagers at the household and village level. Our primary tools include a standardized household survey, anthropometic measures of children, focus groups and the use of GIS remote sensing imagery. Some of our core measures include but are not limited to:

Tanzanian field survey teams conduct standardized household interviews and qualitative research in rural villages using handheld PDAs. The data are uploaded for compilation and analysis and results are quickly communicated in Kiswahili to village assemblies and district and national governments and in English to non-governmental organizations, policy makers, funders, and researchers.

Why Measurement Matters

Policy makers, host governments and rural communities lack systematic, comprehensive methods for assessing the impact of international development assistance projects in rural areas; outcome and impact evaluations are scarce; pre-project baseline surveys are even rarer. Our core indicators of wealth, food security, under-five nutrition, education, natural-resource use and civic engagement are essential to assessing the quality of development projects on the physical, social, environmental and economic health of rural communities.