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USAID Administrator Samantha Power speaks at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Power Play: USAID's Administrator Makes the Case for Global Engagement, More Focus on Effectiveness

USAID Administrator Samantha Power appeared before House and Senate authorizing committees late last week to discuss the agency’s FY22 budget. It wasn’t surprising to hear Administrator Power make a case for strong US global engagement—including robust aid investments and continued commitment to humanitarian response. But she also demonstrated—in a number of important ways—a clear-eyed focus on development effectiveness. Below we highlight several issues we were glad to see receive attention.  

When Rules Are Wrong: Time to Rethink How MCC Identifies Partner Countries

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has officially kicked off its FY2017 “selection cycle” with last week’s release of the “Candidate Country Report.” Normally this is a pretty pro forma step that’s hardly blogworthy, but this year’s report showcases the inadequacy of the current rules that determine MCC’s candidate pool and the unnecessary instability they create—this year three countries that formerly “graduated” are suddenly back in the pool. 

A Small Change That Would Make Big Sense for MCC

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was designed to provide large-scale grant funding to poor, well-governed countries. It’s become clear, however, that the (legislated) definition of which countries are “poor” is inadequate. In a 

A Big, Bold Plan for MCC’s Future

After more than a decade of operations, MCC has made the shift from innovative start-up to established donor agency.  “MCC NEXT,” the agency’s new, much-anticipated strategic plan, takes a hard look at how the poverty and development landscape has evolved over the past decade and stakes out the position a more mature MCC should take in this new context. 

Telling the Story of MCC’s Compacts in a New Way

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