Ideas to Action:

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December 6, 2016

MCC Country Eligibility Predictions for FY2017

The last board meeting of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the Obama administration will take place on December 13, 2016. On the docket? Selecting which countries will be eligible for MCC assistance for fiscal year (FY) 2017. For the fourteenth year running, CGD’s Rethinking US Development Policy Initiative discusses the overarching issues that will impact the decisions and offers its predictions of which countries will be selected.

December 8, 2015

Focus on FY2016: Which Countries Will MCC Select This Year?

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC’s) board of directors is scheduled to meet on December 16. When it does, the members will vote on which countries will be eligible for MCC assistance for fiscal year (FY) 2016. As always, the board is faced with some hard decisions.

January 27, 2015

Focus on Results: MCC’s Model in Practice

When MCC was founded, there was widespread skepticism about the effectiveness of foreign assistance. Many observers, both external and internal to development institutions, agreed that too much aid was being spent on poor projects in service of poorly defined objectives with correspondingly little understanding of what these funds were achieving.

January 27, 2015

Focus on Country Ownership: MCC’s Model in Practice

One of the key pillars of MCC’s model is that country ownership matters for results. In broad terms, the idea of country ownership is that donors’ engagement with developing countries should reflect the understanding that partner country governments, in consultation with key stakeholders, should lead the development and implementation of their own national strategies and that foreign aid should largely serve to strengthen recipients’ capacity to exercise this role.

January 27, 2015

Focus on Country Ownership: MCC’s Model in Practice (brief)

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US foreign assistance agency, was established with broad bipartisan support in January 2004. MCC has a single objective—reducing poverty through economic growth—which allows it to pursue development objectives in a targeted way. There are three key pillars that underpin MCC’s model: that policies matter, results matter, and country ownership matters.

This brief reviews the MCC’s focus on country ownership. A longer discussion can be found in the full paper, “Focus on Country Ownership: MCC’s Model in Practice.”

Millennium Challenge Corporation
January 27, 2015

An Overview of the Millennium Challenge Corporation

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US foreign assistance agency, was established with broad bipartisan support in January 2004. The agency was designed to deliver aid differently, with a mission and model reflecting key principles of aid effectiveness.

November 16, 2007

The Impact of FY2008 Funding Options on the MCA: From Saving Face to Saving the Program

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.

October 22, 2007

Which Countries Might Trip on the Millennium Challenge Account Corruption Hurdle?

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.

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August 27, 2007

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.

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May 17, 2007

Lessons from Seven Countries: Reflections on the Millennium Challenge Account

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

Sarah Lucas

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