November 14, 2007
MCC Releases Annual Scorecards Measuring Countries’ Performance
MCA Eligibility Strengthening Competition for Policy Reform in Countries
Washington, D.C. —The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), today, released performance scorecards for 95 countries that are candidates for grant assistance from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
The scorecards, produced by MCC annually, include information about how low income and lower middle income countries have performed on 17 independent policy indicators in three categories—Ruling Justly, Economic Freedom, Investing in People. In order to pass, countries must perform above the median in at least half of the indicators in each of these groups. The indicators measure countries’ commitment to policies that promote political and economic freedom, investments in education and health care, control of corruption, and respect for civil liberties and the rule of law.
Using these performance scorecards, the MCC Board of Directors selects countries eligible for two types of MCC funding—Compact or Threshold assistance. Those countries selected as Compact-eligible have the opportunity to submit a proposal for a five-year program to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth. Threshold-eligible countries are asked to develop a program that addresses indicator weaknesses that will improve scorecard performance and help these countries eventually qualify for the larger Compact funds.
MCC assistance is designed to provide an incentive for countries to adopt policies that encourage economic growth and poverty reduction, and in turn, MCC rewards these good performers. Many countries are doing the hard work of reform to enhance their chances of becoming an MCA-Compact eligible or Threshold country by making improvements in governance, fighting corruption, ramping up investments in health and education, and adopting micro- and macro-economic reforms.
There are a number of changes to our scorecards and our candidate country pool for this year including:
- New Indicators: In keeping with the requirement in our founding legislation to measure a country’s commitment to promote sustainable management of natural resources, MCC has added two new indicators: a new “Natural Resource Management” (NRM) index in the Investing in People category and a new “Land Rights and Access” index in the Economic Freedom category. We have also combined the Days to Start a Business and Cost of Starting a Business indicators into a single “Business Start-Up” Index.
- Categories: With the introduction of the new NRM index, countries must now pass 3 of 5 indicators in the Investing in People category to pass the category (rather than 2 of 4).
- Candidate Country Pool: Several Compact-eligible countries have graduated from the Low Income Country group to the Lower Middle Income Country group, which puts them in much tougher competition because the median performance on the indicators is higher in this income category.
These changes have made it more difficult for some countries to meet the eligibility criteria. MCC will be reviewing the impact of these changes on countries’ performance and recommending to our Board approaches to promote ongoing reform among our country partners and to encourage countries to pass the criteria.
To view the Scorecards for FY 2008, click on the following link: http://www.mcc.gov/selection/scorecards/index-2008.php.
For more information about the selection process and the indicators used to measure policy performance, please click on the link below: http://www.mcc.gov/selection/index.php.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty.