Evaluation

Reducing poverty through sustained economic growth is the singular goal of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and independent evaluations are MCC’s chosen means of measuring that impact. Evaluations are integral to MCC’s commitment to accountability, learning, transparency, and evidence-based decision making. Independent evaluations, which are conducted by third-party independent experts, help answer three fundamental questions:

  • Was MCC’s investment implemented according to plan? This is key to transparency.
  • What are the changes in income for program beneficiaries that are attributable to MCC’s investment? This is key to accountability.
  • Why did or didn’t the planned investments lead to changes in income? This is key to learning.

MCC’s commitment to independently evaluating every project and publishing those results distinguishes it in the international development community.

The Evaluation Catalog contains the official published reports of all completed independent evaluations, along with publicly accessible metadata and microdata gathered to support these evaluations.

An article in the Journal of Development Effectiveness highlights MCC’s unique approach to rigorously measuring its impact.

Evaluating an Investment’s Performance

Impact Evaluations

Impact evaluations are designed to measure statistically significant outcome changes that can be attributed to the MCC investment. This approach requires distinguishing changes in outcomes that resulted from MCC’s investment rather than external factors, such as increased market prices for agricultural goods, national policy changes or favorable weather conditions. These are types of changes that would have occurred without MCC’s investment and should not be attributed to MCC’s impact. Impact evaluations compare what happened with the MCC investment to what would have happened without it through the explicit definition and measurement of a counterfactual.

What is a Counterfactual?

An impact evaluation is distinguished by its ability to estimate the counterfactual; that is, what would have happened to the same group of program participants had they not received MCC’s assistance. In many programs, there are financial or logistical constraints to providing all eligible individuals or groups with an intervention. Therefore, random selection (such as through a lottery) is often a fair and transparent way to select which eligible individuals or groups should receive the intervention first.

Because randomized control trials select individuals that will and will not be exposed to program benefits, evaluators can compare the groups to measure their impacts. This use of a statistically comparable control group can create the greatest opportunity for learning what works and for measuring program impacts. MCC may also employ other methods of constructing credible comparison groups in cases where randomized control trials are not feasible.

Performance Evaluations

Performance evaluations estimate the contribution of MCC investments to changes in outcome trends, including farm and household income, when formal measurement of a counterfactual is not feasible. Performance evaluations cannot attribute outcome changes to specific causes. However, they often provide crucial insights into strengths or weaknesses in program implementation through critical empirical and analytic assessment of the measureable components of the program’s intermediate and ultimate outcomes. They can often identify clear opportunities to improve program implementation and investment decisions, even when they cannot explicitly estimate how an investment might have contributed to changes in beneficiary incomes.

How We Choose

There are several critical factors that MCC considers when deciding to invest in an impact or a performance evaluation:

  • Learning potential: A strong case for an impact evaluation exists for programs where the assumptions underlying the project logic are based on limited evidence. A rigorous impact evaluation tests assumptions about a project’s effectiveness and contributes substantially to MCC’s future decision-making and the global evidence base.
  • Feasibility: The feasibility of designing and implementing a strong impact evaluation is based on how well the evaluators can estimate a counterfactual, and how feasible it is to maintain that counterfactual through the duration of the evaluation period.
  • Strong stakeholder commitment: Identifying a control group and ensuring adherence to an impact evaluation design may require significant commitment and collaboration by sector staff, program implementers, and evaluators, both within MCC and in partner countries.
  • Appropriate timing: The evaluation timeline must be informed by the project logic, particularly regarding assumptions about how long it will take for expected impacts to occur. By collecting data at the wrong time, evaluations may misrepresent the impacts on outcomes of interest or miss important lessons.
  • Proper coordination: Evaluations require close coordination between the evaluator and the program implementer. Program designers, implementers and evaluators must work together to understand and define the program logic, estimate how long it will take expected impacts to accrue, and identify what is most important to learn about how the program works. This is particularly true for impact evaluations, which require coordination and commitment among various stakeholders to estimate a counterfactual.

Impact evaluations can be informative in measuring trends in outcomes, but so can rigorous performance evaluations in cases where measuring a counterfactual is not feasible. This approach is not easy, but it is a challenge that MCC embraces to ensure accountability for results and to improve learning about what works.

List of Evaluations

This table lists planned and completed independent evaluations.

List of Independent Evaluations
Evaluation Name Sector Type Status Date Released
Albania Threshold I & II

Albania Threshold Program

Albania Threshold Program, Stage II

Institutional Development

Performance Completed July 1, 2013
Armenia IrrigatedInfrastructure

Armenia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Completed December 1, 2016
Armenia Rural Road Rehabilitation

Armenia Compact

Transportation

Impact Completed April 1, 2015
Armenia Water to Market Credit

Armenia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed June 1, 2013
Armenia Water to Market Farmer Training

Armenia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Completed October 1, 2012
Armenia Water to Market Farmer Training

Armenia Compact

What is the impact of on-farm water management training on farming practices, agricultural productivity, and the income of rural farming households?

Impact Completed
Armenia Water to Market Institutional Strengthening

Armenia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed June 1, 2013
Armenia Water to Market Post-Harvest Processing

Armenia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed June 1, 2013
Benin Access to Financial Services

Benin Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Performance Ongoing January 1, 2016
Benin Access to Justice

Benin Compact

Capacity Building and Institutional Development

Performance Ongoing
Benin Access to Land- Rural

Benin Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing November 1, 2015
Benin Access to Markets

Benin Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Benin II Electricity Generation and Distribution

Benin Power Compact

Energy

Impact Ongoing
Benin II Off Grid Energy Access

Benin Power Compact

Energy

Impact Ongoing
Benin II Power Sector Reform

Benin Power Compact

Energy

Impact Ongoing
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Rural Land Governance

Burkina Faso Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Planned April 1, 2016
Burkina Faso Access to Rural Finance

Burkina Faso Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed January 1, 2016
Burkina Faso Access to Rural Finance

Burkina Faso Compact

Finance Investment and Trade

Performance Completed
Burkina Faso Bright II

Burkina Faso Compact

Education

Impact Completed August 1, 2016
Burkina Faso Diversified Agriculture and Water Management

Burkina Faso Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Ongoing
Burkina Faso Roads

Burkina Faso Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Burkina Faso Threshold BRIGHT I

Burkina Faso Threshold Program

Education

Impact Completed June 1, 2009
Cabo Verde II Land Management for Investment

Cabo Verde Compact II

Land Tenure

Performance Ongoing December 31, 2020
Cabo Verde II Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Cabo Verde Compact II

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Performance Ongoing
Cabo Verde Port

Cabo Verde Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Cabo Verde Private Sector Development

Cabo Verde Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Performance Ongoing
Cabo Verde Roads and Bridges

Cabo Verde Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Cape Verde Watershed Management & Agricultural Support

Cabo Verde Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Ongoing
El Salvador Community Services- Water and Sanitation

El Salvador Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Completed April 1, 2017
El Salvador Formal Technical Education

El Salvador Compact

Education

Performance Completed July 1, 2016
El Salvador II Human Capital Project - Full Time Inclusive Model Sub-Activity

El Salvador Investment Compact

Education

Impact Planned
El Salvador II Improving the Quality of General Education

El Salvador Investment Compact

Education

Impact Ongoing
El Salvador II Investment Climate

El Salvador Investment Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Performance Ongoing
El Salvador II Logistical Infrastructure

El Salvador Investment Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
El Salvador II TVET System Reform

El Salvador Investment Compact

Education

Performance Ongoing
El Salvador Investment Support and Financial Services

El Salvador Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Performance Completed February 1, 2016
El Salvador Non-Formal Skills Development

El Salvador Compact

Education

Performance Completed October 1, 2015
El Salvador Northern Transnational Highway

El Salvador Compact

Transportation

Impact Completed May 1, 2017
El Salvador Production and Business Services

El Salvador Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Completed June 1, 2015
El Salvador Rural Electrification

El Salvador Compact

Energy

Impact Completed
El Salvador Rural Electrification - Solar Panels

El Salvador Compact

Energy

Performance Completed
Georgia Agribusiness Development

Georgia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed November 1, 2015
Georgia Energy Rehabilitation

Georgia Compact

Energy

Performance Completed May 1, 2015
Georgia II Improving General Education Quality

Georgia Compact II

Education

Impact Ongoing
Georgia II Industry-Led Skills and Workforce Development (TVET)

Georgia Compact II

Education

Performance Ongoing
Georgia II STEM Higher Education

Georgia Compact II

Education

Performance Ongoing
Georgia Regional Development Fund

Georgia Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Performance Completed
Georgia Samtskhe-Javakheti Roads

Georgia Compact

Transportation

Impact Completed November 1, 2015
Ghana Land Tenure

Ghana Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing
Ghana Agriculture - Commercial Training

Ghana Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Completed October 1, 2012
Ghana Agriculture - Post-Harvest

Ghana Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed
Ghana Agriculture Irrigation

Ghana Compact

Performance Completed
Ghana Community Services - Education

Ghana Compact

Education

Performance Completed
Ghana Community Services - WASH

Ghana Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Completed
Ghana Financial Services

Ghana Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Impact Completed
Ghana II Access Project

Ghana Power Compact

Energy

Impact Planned
Ghana II ECG and NEDCO Financial and Operational Turnaround Projects

Ghana Power Compact

Energy

Impact Planned
Ghana II Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project

Ghana Power Compact

Energy

Impact Planned
Ghana II Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project

Ghana Power Compact

Energy

Impact Planned
Ghana Transportation

Ghana Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Guatemala Threshold Education

Guatemala Threshold Program

Education

Impact Ongoing
Guatemala Threshold Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)

Guatemala Threshold Program

Other

Performance Ongoing
Guatemala ThresholdImproving Tax & Customs

Guatemala Threshold Program

Other

Performance Planned
Honduras Agricultural Public Goods Grant Facility

Honduras Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed July 1, 2014
Honduras Farmer Training and Development Activity

Honduras Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed October 1, 2012
Honduras Threshold Public Financial Management and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)

Honduras Threshold Program

Institutional Development

Performance Ongoing
Honduras Transportation and Farm to Market Roads

Honduras Compact

Transportation

Impact Completed May 1, 2014
Indonesia Community-Based Health and Nutrition

Indonesia Compact

Health

Impact Ongoing
Indonesia Green Prosperity: Grant Facility

Indonesia Compact

Energy

Performance Completed
Indonesia Green Prosperity: Participatory Land Use Planning

Indonesia Compact

Land Tenure

Performance Ongoing
Indonesia Procurement Modernization

Indonesia Compact

Institutional Development

Impact Ongoing
Indonesia Threshold Reducing Public Corruption

Indonesia Threshold Program

Institutional Development

Performance Completed November 1, 2013
Jordan Water Infrasturcture

Jordan Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Ongoing
Jordan Water Smart Homes

Jordan Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Performance Ongoing
Lesotho Health Sector

Lesotho Compact

Health

Performance Ongoing
Lesotho Land Administration Reform - Institutional and Legal

Lesotho Compact

Land Tenure

Performance Ongoing
Lesotho Land Land Administration Reform - Regularization and Leasing

Lesotho Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing
Lesotho Rural Water Supply and Sanitation

Lesotho Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Completed
Lesotho Urban & Peri-Urban Water, and Metolong Dam

Lesotho Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Ongoing
Lesotho Urban and Peri-Urban Water

Lesotho Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Performance Ongoing
Liberia Energy Sector

Liberia Compact

Energy

Performance Ongoing
Liberia Roads

Liberia Compact

Transportation

Impact Planned
Malawi Environment and Natural Resources Management Project

Malawi Compact

Other

Performance Ongoing
Malawi Infrastructure Development

Malawi Compact

Energy

Performance Ongoing
Malawi Power Sector Reform

Malawi Compact

Energy

Performance Ongoing
Malawi Threshold Anticorruption and Governance

Malawi Threshold Program

Institutional Development

Performance Completed January 1, 2010
Mali Alatona Irrigation - Desk Review

Mali Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Ongoing
Mali Bamako-Senou Airport Improvement

Mali Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Moldova GrowTransition to High Value Agriculture

Moldova Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Ongoing
Moldova Roads Rehabilitation

Moldova Compact

Transportation

Performance Planned
Mongolia Health

Mongolia Compact

Health

Performance Completed July 1, 2014
Mongolia Property Rights - Land Registration System

Mongolia Compact

Land Tenure

Performance Ongoing
Mongolia Property Rights - Peri-Urban Rangeland Leasing

Mongolia Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing
Mongolia Property Rights - Special Hashaa Plot

Mongolia Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing
Mongolia Roads

Mongolia Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Mongolia Vocational Education

Mongolia Compact

Education

Performance Ongoing
Mongolia Vocational Education - Equipment Upgrades

Mongolia Compact

Education

Impact Completed
MongoliaEnergy and Environment - Stove subsidy only

Mongolia Compact

Energy

Impact Completed December 1, 2014
Morocco Artisan and Fez Medina

Morocco Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed July 1, 2015
Morocco Artisanal Fisheries

Morocco Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed December 1, 2015
Morocco Enterprise Support

Morocco Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Impact Completed July 1, 2015
Morocco Financial Services

Morocco Compact

Finance, Investment, and Trade

Performance Completed July 1, 2015
Morocco Fruit Tree Productivity

Morocco Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed December 1, 2015
Morocco Fruit Tree Productivity - Rain-fed Trees Rehabilitation

Morocco Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Completed December 1, 2015
Morocco Functional Literacy and Vocational Education

Morocco Compact

Education

Performance Ongoing July 1, 2015
Morocco II Secondary Education

Morocco Employability and Land Compact

Education

Impact Ongoing
Mozambique Community Land Use

Mozambique Compact

Land Tenure

Performance Completed July 1, 2014
Mozambique Farmer Income Support

Mozambique Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed April 1, 2016
Mozambique Land Administration Capacity Building

Mozambique Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing
Mozambique Land Tenure Regularization - Rural and Urban

Mozambique Compact

Land Tenure

Impact Ongoing
Mozambique Road Rehabilitation & Construction

Mozambique Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Mozambique Road Rehabilitation Activity Evaluation

Mozambique Compact

Performance Ongoing
Mozambique Rural Water Supply

Mozambique Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Completed August 1, 2014
Mozambique Urban Water

Mozambique Compact

Performance Ongoing
Namibia Communal Land Support

Namibia Compact

Land Tenure

Performance Ongoing
Namibia Community Skills and Development Center

Namibia Compact

Education

Performance Completed
Namibia Community-Based Rangeland & Livestock Management

Namibia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Ongoing
Namibia Improving the General Education and Access to Textbooks

Namibia Compact

Education

Performance Ongoing
Namibia Indigenous Natural Products

Namibia Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed
Namibia Livestock

Namibia Compact

Performance Completed
Namibia National Training Fund

Namibia Compact

Education

Performance Completed
Namibia Regional Study and Resource Centers

Namibia Compact

Education

Performance Completed June 1, 2016
Namibia Tourism Management, Marketing and Infrastructure

Namibia Compact

Other

Performance Ongoing
Namibia Vocational and Skills Training Activity (Interim)

Namibia Compact

Education

Performance Completed September 1, 2016
Namibia Vocational Training Grant Fund

Namibia Compact

Education

Impact Completed
Nicaragua Farming and Forestry

Nicaragua Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed October 1, 2014
Nicaragua ProNicaragua

Nicaragua Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed October 1, 2014
Nicaragua Property Regularization

Nicaragua Compact

Land Tenure

Performance Completed October 1, 2014
Nicaragua Rice and Banana Farmers

Nicaragua Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Performance Completed May 1, 2015
Nicaragua Rural Business Development Services

Nicaragua Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Completed October 1, 2012
Nicaragua Transportation

Nicaragua Compact

Transportation

Impact Completed December 1, 2014
Niger Threshold NECS

Niger Threshold Program

Education

Impact Completed
Niger Climate-Resilient Agriculture (CRA)

Niger Compact

Other

Impact Planned
Niger IMAGINE Threshold Program I

Niger Threshold Program

Education

Impact Ongoing June 1, 2016
Niger Irrigation and Market Access

Niger Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Ongoing
Niger Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support (PRAPS)

Niger Compact

Other

Impact Planned
Niger Roads for Market Access

Niger Compact

Transport

Performance Planned
Philippines KALAHI-CIDSS Community Development Grants

Philippines Compact

Other

Impact Ongoing September 1, 2015
Philippines Revenue Administration Reform

Philippines Compact

Performance Completed
Philippines Roads

Philippines Compact

Performance Planned
Rwanda Threshold Strengthening Justice and Promoting Political Rights

Rwanda Threshold Program

Institutional Development

Impact Completed December 1, 2014
Sao Tome & Principe Threshold Business Environment and Tax Reform

Institutional Development

Performance Completed April 1, 2014
Senegal Irrigation and Water Resource Management

Senegal Compact

Agriculture and Irrigation

Impact Ongoing
Senegal Roads

Senegal Compact

Transportation

Performance Planned
Sierra Leone Threshold Electricity Sector Reform

Sierra Leone Threshold Program

Energy

Impact Ongoing
Sierra Leone Threshold Water Sector Reform

Sierra Leone Threshold Program

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Ongoing
Tanzania Kigoma Solar Power

Tanzania Compact

Energy

Performance Completed March 1, 2017
Tanzania Threshold

Tanzania Threshold Program

Institutional Development

Performance Completed February 1, 2010
Tanzania Transmission and Distribution

Tanzania Compact

Energy

Impact Completed
Tanzania Transport Sector

Tanzania Compact

Transportation

Performance Ongoing
Tanzania Water Supply & Expansion

Tanzania Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Ongoing
Tanzania Zanzibar Interconnector

Tanzania Compact

Energy

Performance Completed October 1, 2015
Timor-Leste Threshold Fostering Transparency Initiative

Timor-Leste Threshold Program

Capacity Building and Institutional Devlopment

Performance Completed January 1, 2016
Vanuatu Efate Ring & Santo East Coast Road

Vanuatu Compact

Transportation

Performance Completed September 1, 2014
Zambia Innovation Grant

Zambia Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Performance Ongoing
Zambia Threshold Governance and Business Environment

Zambia Threshold Program

Institutional Development

Performance Completed December 1, 2010
Zambia Water, Sanitation and Drainage Infrastructure

Zambia Compact

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Impact Ongoing