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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.
After more than a decade of operations, MCC has made the shift from innovative start-up to established donor agency. “MCC NEXT,” the agency’s new, much-anticipated strategic plan, takes a hard look at how the poverty and development landscape has evolved over the past decade and stakes out the position a more mature MCC should take in this new context.
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.
Domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) seems set to be a priority area for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under Administrator Mark Green. The challenge has been in tracking US (and other donors’) support for DRM activities. While the data only covers projects in 2015 so far, it contributes to a better understanding of what US aid agencies are doing in the DRM space and where they are working. If the United States is looking to step up assistance in this area, it will be instructive to understand the landscape of current efforts.
Last week I predicted that the MCC board of directors would not select any new countries for compact eligibility, and that they would re-select all seven countries currently in the compact development stage. I was wrong on three counts.
After over a year without top political leadership, MCC may soon have a new CEO. Sean Cairncross, the Trump administration’s nominee to take the helm of the agency, has his Senate hearing tomorrow—where we’ll get an early look at his vision for MCC.
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.