The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was established to provide large-scale grant funding to poor, well-governed countries to support their efforts to reduce poverty and generate economic growth. However, the statutory definition of which countries are “poor” for the purposes of MCC candidacy is inadequate. Based solely on GNI per capita with a rigid graduation threshold, it does not portray a clear picture of broad-based well-being in a country. Using a new, comprehensive country-level dataset of median consumption/income, the authors explore the merits and limitations of such a measure and suggest how it might be applied as an additional determinant of MCC candidacy.
On December 8, 2015, CGD President Nancy Birdsall testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing about the Millennium Challenge Corporation: Lessons Learned after a Decade and Outlook for the Future.
From the testimony:
The United States has been at the forefront of providing several development-related global public goods, including peace and security via its contributions to international peacekeeping, the monitoring of international sea trade routes, its engagement in forums such as the Financial Action Task Force to stem flows of funding to terrorist organizations, and more. Yet it has not fully capitalized on its comparative advantage in research and development at home that matters especially for the world’s poor, or on its opportunities for globally transformative investments abroad in such areas as clean power and disease surveillance. We propose two areas where the United States should lead on providing even more transformative global public goods.
The Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) measures donors’ performance on 31 indicators of aid quality to which donors have made commitments. The indicators are grouped into four dimensions associated with effective aid: maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing the burden on partner countries, and transparency and learning. The 2014 edition finds that donors are overall becoming more transparent and better at fostering partner country institutions but that there has been little progress at maximizing efficiency or reducing the burden on partner countries.
This report is the third edition of our effort to measure the quality of Official Development Assistance (ODA), now updated to use 2012 data—the most recent available—from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Assessing Performance-Based Payments for Forest Conservation: Six Successes, Four Worries, and Six Possibilities to Explore of the Guyana-Norway Agreement
In 2009, Guyana created a Low Carbon Development Strategy to develop economically while keeping its entire forest intact, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Norway to receive performance-based payments in the tens of millions of dollars annually contingent upon holding nationwide deforestation to a near-zero rate. In mid-February, 2014, we visited Guyana as part of a three-country study to attempt to gain insights of value to the future expansion of performance-based payments in other countries and other sectors.
In this paper we argue that the United States cannot afford not to revisit and reemphasize cooperation with other countries, or multilateralism, in its approach to development. That is true for aid itself because the United States is politically and bureaucratically handicapped compared to other donors in managing aid programs.
In this note, CGD senior policy analyst Alexis Sowa outlines three recommendations for US development assistance to Pakistan: name the leader of US development efforts, clarify the mission, and finance what is already working.
J. Brian Atwood, chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), analyzes the process and achievements of the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan, South Korea, in 2011.
In this speech delivered to the UN General Assembly, Nancy Birdsall argues that in the absence of an activist global political entity to address these issues, global citizens should press their own governments to adopt policies that address these problems, domestically and internationally.
This report presents the results of the second edition of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) assessment, with a focus on the changes that have occurred in donor performance since the first edition (2008).
Nancy Birdsall and Michele de Nevers propose a system for climate adaptation finance that builds off the lessons learned in development assistance.
U.S. Support for Pakistan’s Private Sector (Sixth Open Letter on U.S. Development Policy in Pakistan)
Nancy Birdsall offers Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides three recommendations on strengthening the Pakistani private sector.
Measuring the Quality of Aid: QuODA Second Edition (Brief for the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, Busan, South Korea)
This brief provides a summary of the forthcoming second edition of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) Assessment sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Center for Global Development.
An accompaniment to the report Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Fixing the U.S. Approach to Development in Pakistan, this data set describes budgeted levels of U.S. military and economic assistance to Pakistan for the period from 1948 to 2010.
In a presentation delivered at the UK Department for International Development on March 9, 2011, CGD president Nancy Birdsall spoke about opportunities and challenges for the implementation of Cash on Delivery Aid, an approach that allows aid agencies to address both short-term and long-term objectives of aid.
A new focus on measuring development results would have far-reaching benefits for U.S. development strategy, for U.S. public diplomacy efforts, and for the strength of Pakistan’s democratic institutions. In this essay, Nancy Birdsall and Wren Elhai suggest five possible indicators that illustrate the type of measurable targets that could help the United State and Pakistan meet shared goals for effective and transparent development.
This brief describes a new approach, Cash on Delivery Aid, which gives recipients full responsibility and authority over funds paid in proportion to verified measures of progress.