Country ownership has been broadly embraced by the international donor community as a critical element of international development aid. The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was established in 2004 with three core principles based on lessons previously learned by the development community:
- sound policies matter for economic growth,
- “country ownership” (country-led development) is critical to sustainable development, and
- aid should be delivered with accountability for results.
MCC has developed and institutionalized internal processes that can help shift country ownership from a guiding principle to a practical approach. While this effort remains a work in progress, the approach has become more systematic and it represents progress towards operationalizing a complex principle.