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CGD Policy Blogs


Clinton's MCC Visit: Keep Calm and Carry On (With Rigor!)

It had the feel of a stop along a farewell tour, but I don't think the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) minded the visit--and praise--they got from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when she stopped by MCC headquarters this week. Clinton applauded the MCC’s open, data-driven approach and commitment to learning while doing, saying it “set the stage” for the Obama administration’s broader development reforms that are still underway.

Forward with USAID Procurement Reform?

President Obama isn't the only government official who promised to deliver change. Two years ago, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah launched USAID Forward, a blueprint for reforming the way America’s largest foreign aid agency does business. Among the changes: Implementation and Procurement Reform (IPR) to triple USAID funding directly to and through developing country governments, businesses and NGOs by 2015. This could be a good thing – less expensive contracts in some cases may deliver good or even better results – but as USAID puts the new policies into practice, the agency’s leadership should keep an eye on  program quality, competition and capacity.

Lucky 113? Committee Shake-ups & Development in the New Congress

The 113th congress will be sworn in on January 3, and – thanks to term limit rules, and a number of election losses and retirements – several important committees will see major shake-ups in leadership.  In the Senate, most committees will have new ranking members, and in the House seven panels, including Ap­propriations and Foreign Affairs, will get new chairmen.

Forget Waiting: Three Foreign Aid Tasks for Three Months

President Barack Obama's re-election gives him four more years to carry out his US global development policy vision. While no one expects the lame duck session to produce mighty development policy, my colleagues and I have a few ideas explained in short videos that could  help President Obama and his development team get a running start on his second term.

The Biggest Experiment in Evaluation: MCC and Systematic Learning

MCC recently published five impact evaluations on farmer training programs – the first of many because MCC, unlike most other development agencies, is conducting such studies for about 40 percent of its portfolio. I would argue that this makes MCC the biggest experiment in evaluation: an entire agency committed to seriously produce impact evaluations on a large share of its operations and publicly disseminate them.