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The Millennium Villages Project (MVP)

Ed Kashi, Gary Knight, Danny Wilcox Frazier, and Ron Haviv

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  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 7.35" x 10.75"
  • ISBN: 978-0-9825908-9-8
  • Publication Date: 2017-02-01
  • books@demo.de.com In Association with the Blue Chip Foundation and VII Association

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The Millennium Villages Project (MVP)

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The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) grew out of a United Nations summit conference in 2000, where nearly 200 nations agreed on eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – including reducing child mortality, promoting gender equality, fighting HIV/AIDS, achieving universal primary education, improving maternal health, and reducing extreme poverty and hunger. Jeffrey Sachs, a Harvard-educated economist who helped liberalize the economies of the former Eastern Bloc countries in the early 1990s, next turned his energies to poverty alleviation and development. From 2000 onward, he served as a key advisor to the UN Secretary-General and many UN agencies on the MDGs. Sach’s concept for the MVP was both ambitious and disarmingly simple. Instead of undertaking the small-bore projects – digging a well, repainting a school – that typified much local development work, Sachs’ team at the Earth Institute at Columbia University would aim to help rural communities achieve all eight MDGs. To demonstrate the approach, Sachs and his team selected ten main clusters of villages across sub-Saharan Africa.

MVP aimed to create synergies and a sustainable model of development sufficient to achieve the MDGs. The hope was that “a good sense of priorities, engineering, and financing,” says Sachs, would enable the communities to break out of the “poverty trap.”

In 2015 the MVP ten-year experiment came to a close, as planned, alongside the end-date of the UN’s MDGs. Experts at the Earth Institute are collating data and trying to determine whether a decade of targeted development programs has brought the project’s sites close to the Millennium Development Goals established in 2000. The statistical results will be presented to the public in early 2017.

Four photographers from VII Agency – Ed Kashi, Gary Knight, Danny Wilcox Frazier and Ron Haviv—documented MVP sites in Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Ethiopia. These photographs explore the challenges endemic to the area and success stories of obstacles overcome by individuals and communities. As Bono says at the end of his essay: “While I love statistics, what calls to us all are great stories and pictures like these in this book, which paint a billion words.”

Note: The Blue Chip Foundation will donate all proceeds from the sale of the book to Community Health Care workers in Ghana and Girls scholarships through the Connect to Learn Program


You're reviewing: The Millennium Villages Project (MVP)

“While I love statistics, what calls to us all are great stories and pictures like these in this book, which paint a billion words.“ — Bono, Lead Singer,  U2. He is the co-founder of ONE, a global advocacy campaign with members around the world to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease; and of (RED), which partners with iconic brands to raise awareness and resources to fight HIV/AIDS.

Ed Kashi

Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of the VII Agency and a long time contributor to National Geographic, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. His images have been published and exhibited worldwide, and his work has generated seven books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including World Press Photo and UNICEF Photo of the Year. As an educator, Kashi instructs and mentors students of photography, and participates in forums and lectures on photojournalism, documentary photography and multimedia storytelling.

Gary Knight

Gary Knight is a co-founder and principle architect of the VII Agency, and founder of the Program for Narrative & Documentary Practice at the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, where he teaches non-fiction storytelling. He is also co-founder of The GroundTruth Project housed at WGBH and is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Frontline Club, London; twice Chair and President of the World Press Photo Award; a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; an Ambassador for Canon Inc.; and a distinguished and highly awarded photographer. His work is in private and institutional collections worldwide and has been exhibited many times, including at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The International Center of Photography, New York; the Louvre, Paris; and Scavi Scaligieri, Verona.

Danny Wilcox Frazier

Danny Wilcox Frazier focuses his work on marginalized communities across the United States. His work acknowledges isolation and neglect while also celebrating perseverance and strength. With his photographs from Iowa, Frazier documented those individuals continuing to live traditional lives in rural communities across the state, people challenged economically but often unwavering in their conviction to stay. A member of the VII Agency, Emmy-nominated Frazier is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. His photographs are in public and private collections, including: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film; Duke University’s special collections library; Honickman Foundation; and Smithsonian, National Museum of American History.

Ron Haviv

Ron Haviv is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, photographer and co-founder of the VII Agency, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. In the last three decades, Haviv has covered more than twenty-five conflicts and worked in over one hundred countries. He has published four critically acclaimed collections of photography, and his work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries. Haviv has produced an unflinching record of the injustices of war and his photography has had singular impact. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.