The SFRC on the MCC

January 29, 2010 By John Glenn

A recent letter from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN) praised the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and new CEO Daniel Yohannes (with whom USGLC members also met recently).  They promised to “work closely with you to ensure MCC retains the support of the Congress and remains an innovative and development leader,” and highlighted several changes they believe would help the MCC more effectively carry out its mission:

Many of the suggestions in the letter reflect a commitment to helping the MCC carry out empowered, innovative, and transparent projects. The Senators point out, for example, that while the MCC has benefited from independence from some of the constraints and burdens placed on other development institutions, the MCC must become a more coordinated partner with other agencies to achieve results.

Likewise, the Senators acknowledge the importance of rewarding good governance through MCC compacts, but point out that U.S. development efforts should also find a way to help impoverished people living in countries where the government is less responsible.

The Senators also called for greater emphasis on civil society and the private sector in compact implementation, and potentially increasing the length of compacts with those countries needing longer-term assistance, reflecting their interest in making the MCC more flexible and responsive to conditions on the ground to lead to more successful outcomes.