Development investments are more effective and sustainable when they reflect countries’ own priorities and strengthen governments’ accountability to their citizens. This is the starting point for MCC’s approach to country ownership. To MCC, however, country ownership is more than this. Country ownership is embodied in partnership. MCC’s partner countries exercise ownership when, in close consultation with citizens and civil society, governments take the lead in setting priorities for MCC investments and implementing MCC-funded programs. This means that governments are accountable to domestic stakeholders for both making decisions and achieving results. This partnership takes place within the framework of MCC’s focused mandate; is consistent with MCC’s standards for accountability, transparency and impact; and draws on MCC’s support and guidance.
The MCC model explicitly builds in the authorities and approaches necessary to support strong and mutually accountable partnerships. These include:
- Selectivity: partnering with poor countries that have a proven track record in good governance and policies that support economic growth and effective use of development assistance;
- Focused mandate: supporting poverty reduction through economic growth;
- Flexibility: working in sectors that matter most for countries’ growth and poverty reduction and supporting investments that are priorities for partner country governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector;
- Aid predictability: providing predictable funding through MCC’s authority to commit five years of funding up front;
- Mutual transparency: providing partner country governments and citizens information on what MCC is doing by publishing economic analyses that inform investment decisions, five-year budgets, expected results, data on ongoing program progress, and findings of independent impact evaluations as programs complete, while expecting transparency from partners as well that empowers citizens to hold governments and donors accountable for how development resources are used and what results they achieve.