Press Release

MCC Board of Directors Discuss Country Selection Report and Gender Lessons Learned

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2012

Washington, D.C. - The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting yesterday to discuss several topics, including this year’s Country Selection Criteria and Methodology Report, lessons learned from institutionalizing gender and social assessment in MCC’s work and the status of the Mali compact termination.

The Board approved the Fiscal Year 2013 Selection Criteria and Methodology Report, which outlines the MCC eligibility indicators, the agency’s approach to interpreting the indicators and other considerations that will inform selection of eligible countries for compacts and Threshold Programs in Fiscal Year 2013. There were no changes to the selection criteria or methodology from the previous year. To increase transparency, this year’s report provides greater detail about the types of information the Board will consider when selecting countries for subsequent compacts. This includes highlighting links to published reports on prior compact implementation.

The board received an update on MCC's progress in institutionalizing gender and social assessment across all operations. In 2011, MCC established Guidelines for Gender Integration, which includes milestones and operational requirements for the inclusion of gender analysis into compact development and implementation. At the meeting, the Board discussed how MCC is advancing the development effectiveness principle of gender equality through applying key lessons learned in implementing the guidelines: 1) assessing the complex relationship between poverty and gender equality when developing compact projects; 2) building local capacity and strong leadership to achieve and sustain gender policy reforms; and 3) engaging men and women to address underlying social issues that contribute to gender inequality—including division of labor, control of resources and gender-based violence— even in sectors where women are well-represented.

Five compacts (Lesotho, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, and Tanzania) totaling $2.55 billion will end in September 2013. The Board was briefed about the steps being taken to ensure these compacts remain on track for a successful completion within MCC’s five-year timeline. Completion risk is a fundamental part of any major development investment, and MCC works with its partner countries to help ensure the quality, sustainability and the timely cost-efficient completion of all compact programs.

At its May 2012 meeting, MCC’s Board authorized termination of the Mali Compact no later than August 31, 2012, because of the military coup. MCC takes seriously its partner countries’ commitment to democratic governance and the rule of law; the military coup in Mali was in direct conflict with these principles. MCC ensured an orderly and responsible windup of the Mali Compact, and it was officially terminated on August 24, 2012.

Finally, the Board expressed its continued commitment to accountability, results and transparency in advance of the public release of MCC’s first set of rigorous independent impact evaluations, which will be posted on its website in October 2012.


The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. Government foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. MCC is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom and investments in people. To learn more about MCC, visit