CGD Policy Blogs
It's that time of year again – time for MCC's annual country eligibility decisions.
Earlier this week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on the Millennium Challenge Corporation. A main impetus for the hearing was the introduction this summer of legislation (S. 1605) that would enable MCC to pursue regionally-focused investments with eligible countries. The hearing itself, however, was wide-ranging, covering the “current operations and authority” of MCC.
MCC will soon ask its board of directors to vote on a proposed $473 million second compact for Tanzania. The program focuses on the energy sector, making it a big deliverable for Power Africa. It’s also strongly aligned with the priorities of Tanzanian citizens, businesses, and the government. But, as the compact currently stands, there are some pretty significant gaps, making it hard for the board to know just what it’s approving. Most notably, it’s completely lac
The House’s FY16 SFOPS spending bill didn’t respond to the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s request for substantially more funding this year. (The legislation maintains the agency’s FY15 level of $900 million.) But I was happy to see clear evidence of the House’s desire to better track the economic rationale behind MCC’s programs in the accompanying explanatory language.
Our celebration of MCC’s tenth birthday continued last week with a thought-provoking open conversation with MCC CEO Dana J. Hyde. The well-attended public event, co-hosted by CGD and the Brookings Institute, was a fantastic opportunity to hear, from MCC’s own leadership, a reflection on the agency’s first ten years and a vision for the agency’s future. (If you missed it, you can watch it here.)
Now that MCC has completed 18 compacts worth over $6 billion, many stakeholders are increasingly anxious to understand more about what these investments have actually achieved. After all, a focus on results is a key component of MCC’s core model, and the agency is known for pushing the envelope in this area. MCC’s rigorous ex-post evaluations will be the critical piece that tells the story about development impact, but the results of these studies aren’t usually available
MCC has long applied rigorous environmental safeguards and standards to its investments in partner countries. And since President Obama’s September 2014 Executive Order on Climate-Resilient International Development, MCC (along with other key USG foreign assistance agencies) has been expanding its efforts to ensure that it considers climate change risk—and, where possible, mechanisms for adaptation—in investment planning and execution