Fine-Tuning the MCC Selection Process and Indicators

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s mission is to promote economic growth and reduce poverty in the best-governed poor countries. Performance on indicators is the foundation of the MCC’s country selection process, which is currently under review to answer two key questions: Is the process helping to pick the best-governed poor countries? Is the MCC appropriately selective?

The review takes place at a time when the Obama administration has put apremium on selectivity, economic growth, transparency, and results—core features of the MCC model—in its presidential policy directive on development. To inform the review process, the MCA Monitor has conducted a parallel review and offers five key recommendations:

  1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (too much): keep the indicator system clean,clear, and color-coded.
  2. Power to the people: in the ruling justly category, government capacity and political voice matter.
  3. Some categories are more equal than others: give the investing in people category an equal number of indicators.
  4. Watch for countries that punch above (or below) their weight: look out for income bias.
  5. The indicators aren’t everything: use discretion, but be transparent.


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