Ten years ago MCC set out to do development differently: creating a selective process, driven by data, where we partner only with countries that demonstrate strong governance; empowering countries to own and implement where the investment should be made; and delivering a solid return on investment.

  • MCC’s Compacts are expected to benefit 174 million people worldwide.
  • For every $1 MCC has invested, the expected return is up to $1.47 for MCC beneficiaries.

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Doing Development Differently

Ten years ago we set out to do development differently. Our peers weigh in.

  • MCC’s investments [at the Port of Cotonou in Benin] enabled us to improve the performance of the port, which has become today one of the most modern and competitive ports in West Africa.

    Samuel Batcho

  • I’m a big fan of MCC … if we appropriated all of our money conditionally in foreign assistance like we invest our money at MCC, we’d have much improved accountability in terms of foreign assistance and we’d have even better results. It’s a great, great program and I’m glad to work with them anywhere I can, particularly on the continent of Africa.

    Johnny Isakson

    March 20, 2012

  • "The notion of the mission… is what motivates everyone. It’s the most mission-driven place I’ve ever seen.” — Jonathan Bloom, Deputy Vice President, Compact Implementation for Africa, sharing his reflections on MCC’s 10th anniversary.

  • "The way we select our partners, the role we play in selecting them and implement these compacts… attracts a broad array of talented individuals.” Melvin Williams, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, on the people who’ve played a role at MCC.

  • "MCC has had an impact on the way people think about governance and the way people measure governance.” Alicia Phillips Mandaville, Managing Director, Department of Policy and Evaluation, on MCC’s impact on the global approach to delivering foreign aid.

  • MCC is a model of innovation in development. It’s about working hand in glove with countries to address their barriers to economic growth. It’s about good governance and accountability. It’s about greater cooperation with the private sector. It’s about demanding results and testing our assumptions against the data. Above all, it’s about understanding what works in development and why so that we get the best possible return from every dollar invested.

    John Kerry

    January 1, 2014

  • Africa contains most of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and they will attract even more U.S. investment as they strengthen public sector capacity and improve their regulatory environments for business. Because MCC enables the necessary reforms, it has earned its place as one of Africa’s most valued development partners.

    Sim Tshabalala

  • "We've already seen [MCC’s] progress, even in the five years I've been here. It would be really good to see that progress continue for the next 10 years and even further than 10 years.” Reuben Turner, MCC Support Service Specialist, Office Services.

  • What we've learned from MCC is how to implement big projects ourselves. This is the legacy that MCC will leave in Moldova. Applying MCC's procedures and rules, we have convinced the people that if you want to build excellent roads and efficient and modern irrigation systems, we need to involve local communities and civil society at each stage of project implementation like design development, transparent procurements, construction works and monitoring of quality. Such experiences taken together are MCC's legacy to the Moldovan people.

    Valentina Badrajan

  • MCC has had a transformative effect across the developing world. Responsible, reform-minded governments have set their sights on the MCC benchmarks, and this has accelerated the pace of reform while empowering governments to make decisions on their own path of development and the direction of their future.

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    October 20, 2008

  • The MCC compact has shown significant impact during its implementation in Senegal. MCC work will leave an important legacy, especially for the quality and durability of the infrastructure. … The MCC compact will be noted for sustainable infrastructure, as both MCC and MCA-Senegal ensured the use of high-quality standards and infrastructure that meets international norms.

    Papa Modou Ndiaye

  • I think the MCC, more than a decade on, has become an exemplary model for providing effective, efficient, larger-scale grants and assistance to those countries that are demonstrating a strong political policy commitment to good economic policy, good political policy and good development.

    Patrick Cronin

  • Not only has MCC planted a lot of trees and allowed for an increase in the value chain that has helped our farmers, but it has also ensured the sustainability of the agricultural sector. And I always say, if we have gained nothing more than the processes, the know-how, the methodology with which MCC works, only that without the rest, we’ve already achieved a lot.

    Aziz Akhannouch

  • One of the things we are very pleased with is called the Millennium Challenge Account. And, it is quite an innovative attitude to aid, linking it with the fight against corruption and linking it with business-minded approaches to aid and therefore leveraging aid to create the environment for investment.


    November 12, 2012

  • This new approach to development is embodied by a revolutionary initiative called the Millennium Challenge Account. See, this program says that the United States will help. But we expect countries that we help to fight corruption and to govern justly … We say to those we want to help support, open markets to trade and investment, and above all, invest in your people’s health and education. You see, by tying our aid to these policies, we are encouraging developing nations to make tough economic and political and social reforms. We encourage leaders to respect their citizens, uphold human dignity, and work to earn the trust of their people

    George W. Bush

    October 21, 2008

  • I’ve always thought that American foreign policy—indeed, America—is at its best in the world when our interests and our values come together. And I can think of no better example of our interests and our values coming together than MCC.

    Dr. Condoleezza Rice

    April 28, 2013

  • The MCC criteria, and the Board's adherence to them, play a key role in incentivizing developing countries to seek the path of democracy and to bring corruption under control.

    Morton H. Halperin

  • MCC has now invested $10 billion in partner countries and improved the lives of millions of people across the world. At the same time, by partnering with countries that demonstrate a commitment to governing fairly, respecting the rule of law and fighting corruption, MCC has helped to spread core American values and build important alliances. … At a time when Congress is more divided than ever, MCC has won bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.  And while it was created during the George W. Bush administration, it has been embraced by the Obama administration as an example of smart, effective assistance.

    Former Rep. Jim Kolbe

  • MCC’s compact with Mongolia helped women across the country receive secure land titles and new skills in non-traditional, highly paid sectors. The compact created gendered benefits at the grassroots level and served as a model practice for promoting inclusive social development and ultimately addressing the widening inequality in Mongolia.

    Tsolmon Begzsuren

  • MCC’s model showcases some of our best thinking about how to do development for the 21st century, and has helped to set the stage for the Administration’s approach for development, because at a time when we must look for the way to maximize the impact of every dollar that we spend on development, we often turn to MCC for information and inspiration.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton

    November 27, 2012

  • "I would hope that [in the next 10 years]… we stay innovative, lean, and look at new ideas and ways of doing business... where we can still make a difference." Jennifer Witriol, Associate Director, Department of Policy and Evaluation, on MCC’s future.

  • "What gets me out of bed every morning is that I know the work we're doing is improving the lives of literally millions of people around the world.” Chris Williams, Director, Investment and Risk Management Division.

  • The impact of MCC hasn't come from big money. It has come from leverage and the demonstration effect of an agency focused on eligibility requirements in low income countries, on the idea of country ownership, on listening to what the country wants, working with a country in a partnership dialogue on what that country's priorities are. It's a very distinct approach, very disciplined and very can-do. And that has had lessons for the rest of the development community about what is good practice in providing aid.

    Nancy Birdsall

  • Cabo Verde has defined a transformation strategy for the country into an international service center, and we chose it for our economy growth and competitiveness. And MCC’s programs were in line with these targets. Why? Because it’s a program that set the foundations for more economic growth and competitiveness, poverty reduction and improvement of quality of life.

    José Maria Neves

  • I’ve always thought that American foreign policy—indeed, America—is at its best in the world when our interests and our values come together. And I can think of no better example of our interests and our values coming together than MCC.

    Dr. Condoleezza Rice

    April 29, 2013

  • MCC’s activities have been a significant contributor to Endeavor’s success. MCC’s efforts to improve the power sector in emerging countries has greatly benefited Endeavor’s strategy to invest in power generation opportunities in these regions, which are in great need of energy.

    Sean Long

  • I remember as a girl watching tragedies such as famine in Ethiopia and I couldn't understand why farmers couldn't feed themselves. And I knew I wanted to work doing what MCC does - to enable people to live off the land in a way that they never go hungry. Because Burkinabe are farmers and a farmer should never go hungry.

    Bernadette Toe

  • For the last 10 years, MCC has prepared developing countries for increased private sector investments. By focusing on good governance, capacity building, and projects that provide direct benefits to citizens, MCC is creating positive conditions that can attract companies investing in emerging markets. The recent Ghana Power Compact is a good example as it aims to transform the country’s power sector for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of households and businesses.

    Andrew G. Inglis

  • With MCC, what we try to do is show in action those values that we believe are key to prosperity, key to a market-based economy that's growing, that provides opportunity -- particularly for young people in many of these countries. That's what I think is so important. It's the one program that shows these values in action. Not just talk, but actually performing, providing results and training whole generations of leaders around the world to carry on that type of development.

    Amb. Mark Green (Ret.)

  • As the global community partners with the United Nations to create the next set of global development goals, MCC’s results over the last decade have shown us that a focus on results and transparent collaboration is at the heart of making progress in the fight against poverty. Innovative approaches to development like MCC point to what strong U.S. bipartisan support, combined with developing country ownership of foreign assistance programs, can accomplish creating a healthier and more prosperous world.

    Kathy Calvin

  • I think it’s a testament to MCC that many of the reforms being pursued by USAID and the State Department are based in large part on the MCC model. I think that’s very, very good.

    Eliot Engel

    April 25, 2013

  • I’m proud of this organization and this initiative because this initiative reflects the best of American ideals and it reflects American pragmatism. The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s objectives are noble, reducing poverty in some of the poorest countries in the world. And MCC’s means are practical, working with countries that have already put in place policies that support growth and make assistance effective. MCC forges true partnerships, putting opportunity and responsibility for development where they belong with the people and the governments of the developing countries.

    Colin Powell

    November 10, 2004

  • But the purpose of development—and what’s needed most right now—is creating the conditions where assistance is no longer needed. So we will seek partners who want to build their own capacity to provide for their people. We will seek development that is sustainable. Building in part on the lessons of the Millennium Challenge Corporation ... we will invest in the capacity of countries that are proving their commitment to development.

    Barack Obama

    September 22, 2010

  • Congratulations to the Millennium Challenge Corporation on its 10th anniversary, and I remain deeply humbled to have played a part in the history of this game-changer. I am proud to have led the agency at a time that saw its rigorous results analysis with the release of its first impact evaluations and its work toward pushing the envelope on transparency, leading to its ranking as the world's most transparent aid agency. I am confident that MCC's ongoing commitment to impactful results and transparency will define its future and continue to provide valuable lessons that will benefit the entire development community.

    Daniel W. Yohannes

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Driving Change

Investing in Infrastructure

With MCC funding, oversight and assistance, partner countries have effectively undertaken large, complex infrastructure projects, such as expanded irrigation networks to improve agricultural production, roads to link markets, ports to facilitate trade, water and sanitation systems to improve hygiene, and power grids to supply more reliable electricity to fuel factories and provide lights to villages and homes.

  • 1,519
    miles of roads completed
  • 927
    miles of roads under construction
  • El Salvador

    By rehabilitating a 136-mile highway in northern El Salvador, MCC linked a previously isolated region with the rest of the country and with Guatemala and Honduras, connecting more than 533,000 poor rural Salvadorans to jobs, markets and social services.

  • Jordan

    Thanks to MCC, more than 3 million people in Jordan, nearly half of the population, will have reliable access to clean water in one of the world’s driest countries. By mobilizing an additional $110 million in private financing, MCC more than doubled its $93 million investment in treating wastewater. The result: an award-winning public-private partnership to expand the As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant that will produce enough treated water for irrigation to support agricultural production, equaling more than 10 percent of Jordan’s total water resources.

  • Mongolia

    In Mongolia, MCC supported a bold new approach to clean energy by funding transmission upgrades to allow electricity from the country’s first commercial wind farm to be introduced into the national grid and by investing in nearly 100,000 new energy-efficient stoves, which are expected to reduce household air pollution by 57 percent in Ulaanbaatar, one of the top three most polluted capital cities in the world.

  • Tanzania

    Some 1.4 million Tanzanians now have access to electricity, many for the first time, thanks to MCC’s more than $205 million investment in Tanzania’s energy sector. With new power generation, transmission and distribution, including the installation of a 100-megawatt submarine power cable from the mainland to the island of Zanzibar, homes and businesses have access to more reliable electricity service.

Investing in Agriculture

Since signing its first compact in 2005, MCC has been on the forefront of promoting food security. By improving access to markets, providing training and introducing new technologies, MCC has helped farmers increase their competitiveness and their profits.

  • 271,650
    farmers trained
  • 296,682
    acres under improved irrigation
  • $87.8
    million in agricultural and rural loans
  • Armenia

    In Armenia, where 44 percent of the economy is dependent on agriculture, MCC’s $177 million compact represents the single largest public investment in the country’s agriculture sector in the last 30 years. By improving 485 miles of irrigation canals, modernizing over 17 critical water pumping stations and equipping Armenia’s 44 water user associations and their member farmers with the skills for better water management, MCC’s investments are providing reliable irrigation and new farming practices to over 420,000 people, 40 percent of the rural population.

  • Tanzania

    Some 1.4 million Tanzanians now have access to electricity, many for the first time, thanks to MCC’s more than $205 million investment in Tanzania’s energy sector. With new power generation, transmission and distribution, including the installation of a 100-megawatt submarine power cable from the mainland to the island of Zanzibar, homes and businesses have access to more reliable electricity service.

Investing in Land Rights

For ten years, MCC has worked to help people maximize the value of their land. MCC has expanded land security for millions, creating assets in which they can invest, providing incentives to reduce environmental degradation, improving land management, and securing legal rights for families.

  • 304,662
    households now have legal protections for their land
  • Burkina Faso

    In Burkina Faso, MCC launched its largest and most ambitious land and property rights project to date. The project has improved the national system for mapping property, set up land rights registration offices in 47 districts and trained hundreds of judges, land registration officers and local officials. These efforts will help rural Burkinabé establish household land rights and resolve land conflicts, increasing their investments in land and agriculture for the economic benefit of their families.

  • Mali

    Thanks to MCC, 8,153 Malians now have the peace of mind that comes from holding secure land titles confirming their property rights and ownership. These property owners are capitalizing on MCC-funded irrigation of 12,000 acres of farmland to invest in agricultural productivity, grow more food and increase their income. Women, either directly or through titles held jointly with their spouses, own 37 percent of this irrigated land.

Investing in People

MCC’s investments have strengthened national education and health systems and policies, empowering individuals to increase their marketable skills and improve personal and family health. These investments are enhancing economic growth by building healthier, more capable workforces, improving the status of women and enhancing social stability.

  • 745
    schools built or rehabilitated
  • 228,693
    students participating in education activities
  • 17,900
    public health facilitators trained
  • Burkina Faso

    In Burkina Faso, MCC and USAID partnered to build 132 girl-friendly schools, providing both girls and boys living in remote areas access to primary education for the first time. The program included measures to help girls stay in school, such as take-home food for good attendance and literacy programs for mothers. Approximately 27,000 boys and girls are enrolled and benefiting from an education. The results show increased test scores in French and mathematics as well as a 20 percent increase in enrollment for both boys and girls.

  • Mongolia

    In a country where heart disease and stroke account for more than one-third of deaths, MCC’s investment in Mongolia made health screenings universally available, accessible and affordable. More than 550 primary health care facilities in all 21 provinces of the country were equipped to screen virtually every Mongolian aged 40 or older for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and high-blood pressure.

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Delivering Impact

Incentivizing Reform

MCC has shown that picking countries based on publicly available data measuring their commitment to fundamental values works. Passing MCC’s scorecard has become a badge of distinction, and the competition to be part of that exclusive group has motivated countries to change laws, reform policies and rebuild institutions. MCC’s ability to incentivize reform even has a name—the MCC Effect.

  • A study found the MCC Effect is having a major impact. According to a 2013 College of William and Mary global survey of government officials, civil society and the private sector, MCC’s scorecard ranked as the most influential tool to incentivize policy reform.

Holding Partners Accountable

MCC has insisted that countries uphold their commitment to MCC values throughout the partnership. The agency has suspended or terminated assistance to countries that fail to uphold their end of the bargain—as Armenia, Honduras, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nicaragua, and Niger experienced during MCC’s first decade. By holding partners accountable, MCC has punished bad performance and encouraged countries to make the right decisions.

  • MCC suspended Malawi’s $350 million compact in March 2012, following political violence and a pattern of actions inconsistent with MCC’s good governance standards. When President Joyce Banda came to office she immediately took action to reinstate the compact, strengthening laws and institutions to support democratic rights, stabilizing the economy and promoting greater respect for human rights. In recognition of these strong steps, MCC’s Board reinstated the Malawi Compact, demonstrating that MCC’s willingness to hold countries accountable is the right approach. Other countries too have taken steps to redeem themselves after backsliding on MCC’s standards.

Advancing Gender Equality

MCC has worked to remove gender and other social barriers that can limit who benefits from the agency’s investments, and held off disbursing funds until partner countries met strict gender requirements. From a Gender Policy many hail as groundbreaking to the operational guidance provided to partner countries for putting that policy into action, MCC has made gender equality an essential part of how the agency fights poverty.

  • Lesotho

    In Lesotho, MCC only approved a compact after the country passed landmark legislation to ensure that married women—who had been treated as second-class citizens—could enjoy basic economic rights, like owning a business and obtaining a loan without a husband’s consent.

  • Côte d’Ivoire

    In an attempt to qualify for MCC assistance, Côte d’Ivoire passed a new family code in 2012, giving women the same rights as men to choose where they live, apply for a passport, pursue a job or profession, and become head of household. Côte d’Ivoire now passes the gender in the economy indicator on MCC’s scorecard.

Committing to Transparency

MCC has released unprecedented data about how it selects partner countries and makes investments, how projects are progressing and whether they achieved the expected results. This transparency has allowed MCC and its partner countries to hold each other accountable, while also allowing new ideas and best practices to be tested, adapted and disseminated in the spirit of ongoing learning and improvement.

  • In 2012, MCC released the findings of five impact evaluations of farmer training; a 2011 World Bank study identified only three impact evaluations of this type over the last decade. This new set of evaluations prompted improvements both in the design and implementation of other MCC-funded agriculture training projects and in MCC’s evaluation practices. MCC has a robust pipeline of final evaluation reports and survey data scheduled for public release, including household data from thousands of respondents that will be highly valuable for researchers and businesses.
  • Publish What You Fund’s 2013 Aid Transparency Index ranked MCC the most transparent aid agency in the world out of the 67 organizations it analyzed.

Ensuring Lasting Impact

MCC investments have included rigorous measures to prevent corruption, manage finances effectively, protect the environment, improve rights for women and other marginalized groups, pursue resettlements responsibly when needed, and monitor results. A number of partner countries have adopted these measures for their own national development strategies—further enhancing and sustaining MCC’s positive impact.

  • Honduras

    Hondurans were so impressed with MCC’s model that they decided to keep in place MCA-Honduras—the local organization that implemented the country’s compact—to manage all other development work. The organization is now successfully implementing a $427 million portfolio of projects funded by other donors.

Results numbers as of September 30, 2014.