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Sarah Rose is a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. Her work, as part of the Center’s US Development Policy Initiative, focuses on US government aid effectiveness. Areas of research and analysis include the policies and operation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the use of evaluation and evidence to inform programming and policy, the implementation of country ownership principles, and the process of transitioning middle income countries from grant assistance to other development instruments.
Previously, Rose worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Mozambique as a specialist in strategic information and monitoring and evaluation. She also worked at MCC, focusing on the agency’s evidence-based country selection process. She holds a Masters degree in public policy and a BS in foreign service, both from Georgetown University.
How can development practitioners best contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What approaches are most effective in promoting gender equality and social inclusion? The adoption of the SDGs is an opportune time to discuss lessons learned and promising pathways forward. The event will discuss SDG 5 (focused on gender equality) and how gender equality objectives impact the achievement of other critical SDGs.
Last month, the MCC Board of Directors made its annual decisions about which developing countries are eligible to receive the agency’s large-scale assistance. In the end, they selected five countries for MCC support: Cote d’Ivoire, Kosovo, and Senegal for compact programs, and Sri Lanka and Togo for threshold programs. Several strategic factors and considerations underpinned each of these decisions. Should MCC undertake regionally-based programs? Which previous MCC compact countries should receive further support going forward? Do MCC’s current income-level measures remain fit for purpose for identifying prospective partners?
Earlier this week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on the Millennium Challenge Corporation. A main impetus for the hearing was the introduction this summer of legislation (S. 1605) that would enable MCC to pursue regionally-focused investments with eligible countries. The hearing itself, however, was wide-ranging, covering the “current operations and authority” of MCC.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC’s) board of directors is scheduled to meet on December 16. When it does, the members will vote on which countries will be eligible for MCC assistance for fiscal year (FY) 2016. As always, the board is faced with some hard decisions. Three conditions are notable during this year’s selection process: scarce resources, a new MCC selection process, and fierce competition among countries.
The President’s FY2015 budget request is out and it looks good for MCC. With a base budget ask of $1 billion, this is the highest request the Millennium Challenge Corporation has seen since FY2012. Of course, the request is just the first step of the budget process, so MCC may or may not receive the full amount. But if it does, it would be the largest appropriation for the agency since FY2010.
Publish What You Fund launched their fourth annual Aid Transparency Index (ATI) today. The overall finding is that while many donors have made a number of international aid transparency commitments, the majority are falling short and not publishing useful information.
Tomorrow, USAID Administrator Mark Green heads to Capitol Hill to defend the Trump administration’s FY 2019 foreign assistance budget request. It won’t be easy. Lawmakers have pushed back hard against the drastic cuts to US global development and humanitarian spending proposed by the administration. Here are some specific issues I hope receive attention during tomorrow’s hearing.
The country scorecards that serve as the basis for MCC country eligibility decisions aren’t complete, but the data for the particularly weighty indicators—including the must-pass Control of Corruption hurdle—is now available. I ran the numbers to get a sneak peek at some of the issues the agency and its board will grapple with over the next few months. Some of what emerged from this number crunching is encouraging—most current partner countries surpass MCC’s standards and some interesting new prospects for partnership emerge. More troubling is that two of the countries currently developing compacts—Kosovo and Mongolia—don’t pass the corruption hurdle.