Welcome to the MV Sim!

Economic development has lifted more than 100 million people out of extreme poverty since the mid-1990s. Despite the good news, much of sub-Saharan Africa remains mired in seemingly intractable poverty. The Millennium Villages project offers a bold, innovative model for helping rural African communities lift themselves out of poverty traps. The project is based on a single powerful idea: impoverished villages can transform themselves and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) if they are empowered with proven, practical technologies.

Africa faces difficult structural challenges including high transport costs and small markets, low-productivity agriculture, high disease burden, a history of adverse geopolitics, and slow diffusion of technology from abroad. However, in countries where governments are committed, these challenges can be overcome if addressed through an intensive program that directly confronts them. The MDGs offer a "bottom up" approach to lifting villages out of poverty traps.

The MV Sim (short for Millennium Village Simulation) was created as a teaching tool to help students appreciate the complexity of meeting the MDGs in a rural African setting, and to experience the interdisciplinary nature of sustainable development. The MV Sim does not strive to be a perfect replica of a real village; indeed, many of Africa's challenges (such as HIV/AIDS) are not present in the simulation. Instead, the MV Sim purposefully incorporates only a select set of issues to make it a manageable educational tool that models challenges cutting across the disciplines of agronomy, public health, environmental science, and economics.

The simulation models linkages between household- and village-level decisions, various eco- and agronomic systems, and disease ecology in the sub-Saharan African context. You will play the role of a villager in this setting. Your goal is to provide a sustainable livelihood for your family as you move from subsistence farming and fishing to income-generating activities. Each simulation period or turn represents a growing season, and you'll have many choices to make, including: what to grow; how much time to spend collecting water and fuelwood; what to buy for your family; how much to tax the village. As you improve life for your family and the village, you come closer to meeting the MDGs and earn more points.

Use this wiki as an encyclopedia to learn more about each issue included in the MV Sim.

Good luck!

First time playing? Take a look at the Quick Start Guide before beginning. Also, try out the MVSim Tutorial page for a brief tutorial video.

Learn about the real Millennium Villages at www.millenniumvillages.org
Read academic articles on the Millennium Villages, Extreme Poverty and Ending Africa's Poverty Trap
Take a look at Professor Sachs' book "The End of Poverty"