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MCC Monitor: Tracking the Millennium Challenge Corporation
The MCC Monitor, active since 2005, provides rigorous policy analysis and research on the operations and effectiveness of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The MCC Monitor seeks to contribute to MCC's success by offering evidence-based recommendations, drawing lessons from relevant experiences, raising awareness, and linking related work on aid effectiveness.
While the MCC Monitor covers a wide range of issues, it has two specific and regular series of work:
Analysis of MCC Country Eligibility: CGD and the MCC Monitor have provided analysis and commentary on MCC’s country eligibility process since MCC selected its very first set of countries in 2004. Work in this series includes annual predictions of which countries MCC will select for eligibility, as well as recommendations to improve MCC’s indicator-based country eligibility system.
Reports from the Field: This is an occasional series that provides a snapshot-in-time, on-the-ground assessment of individual country experiences with developing and implementing MCC programs in order to inform broader MCC policies and approaches.
The MCC Monitor is part of CGD’s Rethinking US Development Policy initiative that seeks to broaden the US government’s approach to development while strengthening existing foreign assistance tools.
This week, Congress passed the African Growth and Opportunity Act and Millennium Challenge Act Modernization Act (H.R. 3445). Once signed, it will give MCC the long-awaited authority needed to pursue regional programming more effectively.
One of the biggest questions donors grapple with is how to balance implementing specific projects with building local capacity to execute similar programming in the future. Indeed, this question is central to the conversation—now active at USAID—about how donors can “work themselves out of a job.” One good example of how this can look comes from the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) 2005-2010 partnership with Honduras. In this story, a key part of MCC’s legacy is not about what the agency funded but how it funded it.
This week, MCC edged one step closer to securing new authorities that would better position the agency to undertake regional programming. Similar provisions were included in fully five bills in the 114th Congress, but none made it over the finish line. Hopefully 2018 will be the year.
Every December, MCC’s board of directors meets to select the set of countries eligible for MCC’s compact or threshold programs. And each year, before the board meeting, CGD’s US Development Policy Initiative publishes a discussion of the overarching issues expected to impact the decisions alongside its predictions for which countries will be selected. Here’s what to watch for at the upcoming MCC board meeting on December 19.
Next month, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s board of directors will meet to select the set of countries that will be eligible for the agency’s large-scale grant programs. One of the decisions on the table will be whether to continue the partnership with the Philippines. Over the last year and a half, questions have emerged about whether the Philippines continues to meet MCC’s good governance criteria. In one month, MCC and its board will have to answer those lingering questions.