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On December 10, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) board of directors will select countries as eligible for compact and threshold program assistance for FY2014. It will face some difficult decisions, framed by the following three issues:
Scarce Resource Availability: The MCC board will have to prioritize from among the possible contenders for compact eligibility.
Countries Not Passing MCC’s Indicator Criteria: A record number of countries that will be considered for re-selection this year do not meet MCC’ s criteria for performance on the eligibility indicators. However, these indicators are imperfect proxies of a country’ s policy performance.
Second Compact Selectivity: Much of MCC’s selection process is transparent; determining which countries should be eligible for second compacts is less so. What is not clear is where MCC draws the line to say that the quality of a country’s compact implementation does not meet the cut for eligibility for contin ued support.
With this framing in mind, the Rethinking US Development Policy Initiative predicts that the MCC board will—for the first time ever—make no new sele ctions for compact eligibility. It will likely re-select Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone for first compact eligibility and Benin, Ghana, Morocco, and Tanzania for second compact eligibility. The board is unlikely to select any new countries for threshold pro gram eligibility.