Amid a contentious FY2008 budget round between Congress and the White House, foreign assistance -- particularly that for development -- may face cuts during negotiations. The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) -- one of few U.S. foreign aid programs specifically targeted to long-term development objectives -- is especially vulnerable. In a new MCA Monitor Analysis, senior policy analyst Sheila Herrling presents a path forward for Congress and the administration to address the real issues hindering MCA implementation, and argues against an amendment introduced by Senator Lugar to change the MCA's compact funding obligations policy because it erodes key innovations that distinguish the MCA from other aid programs.
The Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) will soon release performance data that will form the basis of its FY2008 country selection round. The only indicator that countries must pass to qualify for MCC money is Control of Corruption. CGD's Sheila Herrling and Sarah Rose have crunched the numbers for the corruption indicator data and offer an early preview of which countries will clear the hurdle—and which are likely to trip. In early November the MCA Monitor team will release their predictions of which countries will be deemed eligible for Millennium Challenge funding. The MCC Board is scheduled to announce its decision on December 4.
Investing in People by Investing in Data: How Best to Incorporate the New MCA Eligibility Indicators
The board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation will soon decide how to incorporate two new natural resources indicators—a Natural Resource Management Index (NRMI) and a Land Rights and Access indicator—into the FY2008 country selection process. In a new paper by CGD’s MCA Monitor team, Sarah Rose, Sheila Herrling, and Steve Radelet explore how to integrate these new indicators into the MCA's three eligibility criteria categories: Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Economic Freedom. They recommend adding the Land Rights indicator to the Economic Freedom category, and the NRMI to Investing in People. They also urge the MCC to offer incentives for a third party to create an educational quality indicator, thereby bringing the total number of investing in people indicators to six, equal to the number of indicators in the other two categories.
Since its inception in 2004 the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has been an experiment in improving the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid in a small set of poor but well-governed countries. This new MCA Monitor Analysis brief based on visits to seven Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) countries between July 2005 and March 2007 draws broad lessons about the MCC’s first years of operation.Learn more
As Congress gears up to allocate some $36 billion in the international affairs budget across a multitude of foreign aid programs, CGD senior policy analyst Sheila Herrling and research assistant Sarah Rose ask whether the MCA should receive the full $3 billion requested by the president for the initiative. The authors applaud the MCA as one of the few U.S. foreign aid programs specifically dedicated to long-term global growth and poverty reduction and argue that reduced funding could jeopardize its core credibility.
Expand and Enhance: A Proposal to Strengthen the MCA Eligibility Process When Adding the Natural Resource Indicators
This week the Millennium Challenge Corp. briefed staff-level representatives of its Board on plans to add two new indicators, for Natural Resources Management and Land Rights and Access, to the country eligibility criteria starting with the FY 2008. Expand and Enhance: A Proposal to Strengthen the MCA Eligibility Process When Adding the Natural Resource Indicators, a new MCA Monitor paper by Steve Radelet, Sheila Herrling, and Sarah Rose, offers suggestions about how to incorporate the new indicators into the existing three-part criteria: Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Economic Freedom.