The Millennium Villages initiative represents a settings approach to achieving the millenium development goals and was initiated in 2004.
It is based on the idea that impoverished villages can transform themselves and meet the Millennium Development Goals if they are empowered with proven, powerful, practical technologies. By investing in health, food production, education, access to clean water, and essential infrastructure, these community-led interventions will enable impoverished villages to escape extreme poverty.
The first village : The first millennium village was Sauri in Kenya in 2004 and the next in Koraro, Ethiopia. With funding from Japan a further 10 villages have been added. All are in reasonably well governed and stable countries in Africa and in areas of the highest rates of rural poverty and hunger. The organisation of it all is through a partnership between the UN Development Programme and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Scaling up : In view of the success of the approach, the programme ihas been scaled up to include clusters around the original millennium villages. Funding for this is coming from an organisation called Millenium Promise, a non-profit organisation founded to help achieve the Millenium Development Goals.
Similar initiatives using the same principles exist in other parts of the world, though these are not formally part of the UN Development Programme.