good development – are the stats real?

When I went to college, my dad told me to learn statistics. I laughed at him. Then I learned statistics. Now I understand numbers and give others his advice. I say this as I am always surprised by how people create statics that make their programs look great. I like to believe that they do this because they believe in what they are doing and simply do not know any better; these options are better than the alternatives.

This article and others describe how the Millennium Villages Project is not making the great strides that it claims to have made. The project is based on a premise of dumping a lot of money directly into a small area across a number of sectors over ten years. Someday we can talk about how this is not my favorite development model and also why a few of the ideas are solid. Like so many things, development is not straightforward or simple. However, today we are talking about statistics, so take a moment to read the articles to appreciate why the details of statistics, the hows and the whys behind the numbers, matter.

If you understand numbers, you can sell almost anything to someone who does not. I promise to not do that to you. Instead, I will do my best to explain truth through stories and numbers when needed. And, I will tell you that if you get a chance, you should take a course or two in statistics.

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