Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

X

US Development Policy

Feed

You gotta be cool to be featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, right? I don't think the MCC is feeling too cool after the blasting it gets in this month's issue.

"The president's $5 billion program does more for foreign banks than the needy.....In a pattern that has become a hallmark of the administration, however, Bush's aid initiative -- the Millennium Challenge Corporation -- has become an object lesson in dramatic ideas followed by disastrous action."

Ouch! My take on this article. Some of it is truth that should hurt and be dealt with -- it has been underwhelming in terms of its innovativeness; it has taken a long time to become operational; too few development experts in the organization was (and still is) a mistake; and White House outreach for the program has been abysmal.
Some of it needs some factual back up or at least better context -- while true that the compacts are heavy on infrastructure and land reform, and light on social sector, we've been unable to credibly document that countries have been directed by the MCC to only apply for high economic return projects. (For those of you willing to give me the goods, here's your chance!) And the truth is that infrastructure projects are critical to any country's development and have been underfunded by aid organizations over the past decade .
But all of it goes to show that frustration is mounting, even among supporters, and the MCC needs to sieze what is a closing window of opportunity to demonstrate its value-added.

Disclaimer

CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.