University of Minnesota
University Relations

Whole Village Project - Tanzania

What We Do

The Whole Village Project measures the outcomes of foreign assistance and rural development projects on the lives of rural villagers over time. We aim to answer questions such as,

"Are development projects making a difference in the lives of small holder farmers in rural Africa?"
"Where and how should development initiatives be targeted most effectively?"

The project's core values include communication, local participation and capacity building. We return to each village to share with them the results of the surveys and interviews so that they can decide how to use this information for their own community planning.

The involvement of local beneficiaries substantively increases local ownership and the uptake of programs. Participatory activities hold people accountable and provide villagers an opportunity to set priorities in their own community. The WVP also helps coordinate efforts between villagers, NGOs, government and aid organizations.

In addition, the rapid availability of these quantitative measures to implementing agencies, NGOs, and policy makers allow for the adaptive management of aid programs. Timely identification of weaknesses and strengths in current projects can allow for revised interventions that better fit local needs.