Compact Development Guidance: Compact Development Guidance | February 2017
Chapter 1: Establishing a Compact Development Team
Eligible countries selected by the MCC Board of Directors to develop a compact bear primary responsibility for the success of the compact development process. To ensure a strong start, each selected country should convene a capable, professional team to handle the day-to-day work requirements, manage the overall compact development process, and coordinate and collaborate directly with MCC. This team, known as the Compact Development Team, will include an experienced, full-time national coordinator supported by a staff of well-qualified subject matter experts and technical specialists.
Each selected country should begin taking steps to structure, resource, and staff its Compact Development Team as quickly as possible after selection. This is a critical step for a selected country, as it directly impacts the depth, pace, and quality of work throughout the compact development process.
Among its earliest decisions, each selected country must determine the office, agency, department, or ministry that will house its Compact Development Team and spearhead its compact development process. Inherent in this decision is a determination about a political point of contact – generally a minister or senior civil servant – who will secure necessary resources for the Compact Development Team, provide a conduit of information to other senior officials, oversee the development of the compact program, and engage in high level communications with MCC.
Institutional arrangements for the Compact Development Team should reinforce the country’s commitment to compact development and facilitate the work of the team. At a minimum, the arrangements should serve to reduce bureaucratic obstacles, expedite decisions, augment flexibility and creativity, facilitate the team’s access to senior leaders, and strengthen its ability to obtain data and information, documentation, expertise, and human resources from a wide range of government ministries, departments, and agencies, as well as from the country’s civil society and private sector organizations. Although there is no standard approach, many selected countries have found that the Compact Development Team is most effective when housed within the office of the country’s president or prime minister. Others have found a ministry of finance, economic planning, or economic development that plays a powerful coordinating role within the government also works well.
Beyond the political point of contact, many countries have found it useful to create a high level steering committee to generate broad participation and ownership over the compact development process. Such steering committees are generally chaired by the political point of contact and include other senior officials from relevant ministries, along with representatives from civil society organizations and the private business community. In such cases, the steering committee sets the overall direction of the country’s compact development process; reviews and approves reports, proposals, and other formal documents; takes decisions at critical junctures; and resolves difficult issues. Selected countries may wish to change the composition of such steering committees over time as the compact program becomes more defined.
Administrative and financial resources
The Compact Development Team will need significant administrative and financial resources to manage the compact development process effectively. Among other resources, the Compact Development Team will need a working space, whether within a government office building or in commercial office space, that is large enough for its staff and appropriate for regular meetings with stakeholders, advisors, and visiting MCC teams. This working space should be equipped with international phone and e-mail services that allow for frequent exchange of data, information, and documents. The Compact Development Team also will need access to standard office supplies and office equipment, and may benefit from support staff, transportation, and other services as well.
Each selected country must provide its own budget to cover these and other costs associated with the Compact Development Team. Total costs vary among selected countries but generally range from a low of $0.5 million to a high of $3.0 million. MCC encourages selected countries to identify and dedicate budget funds for its Compact Development Team as quickly as possible after selection in order to avoid delays in hiring staff and starting the compact development process in earnest. For certain selected countries that face a particularly tight budget environment, MCC may be able to offset a portion of these costs through a grant of Compact Development Funding for Initial Engagement (see Chapter 2).
The Compact Development Team will undertake detailed analysis and assessment of critical economic and social issues, solicit and integrate input from a broad range of stakeholders, and identify and justify critical areas for potential investment using MCC funding. MCC expects each selected country to fill the following positions as part of its Compact Development Team, generally within two (2) months of selection. In filling these positions, a selected country may select national or international candidates and may hire or procure staff on a part-time or full-time basis, as needed to secure the best talent while also meeting standards and completing work. The Compact Development Team will expand during subsequent phases of the compact development process (see Chapter 5), and its composition may change as the compact development process progresses.
National Coordinator: Given the complexity of compact development, each selected country benefits from having one “national coordinator” who bears responsibility for organizing and executing the compact development process. The national coordinator will lead the recruitment and hiring of the Compact Development Team and will manage the team’s detailed daily work throughout the compact development process. The national coordinator also will engage key stakeholders across the government, the business community, and civil society organizations; share relevant information with the political point of contact, the steering committee, and other senior officials; and bear responsibility for the overall quality of the Compact Development Team’s work, including official submissions to MCC.
Successful candidates for the national coordinator position tend to have extensive experience working at the highest levels of government or the private sector; a high degree of comfort with the management of large, complex, interdisciplinary projects or processes; knowledge of economic development issues or prior work with international development organizations; and some exposure to the discipline of project management.
MCC asks each selected country to make its national coordinator available on a full time basis. To increase efficacy, each selected country should grant its national coordinator authorities to access and expend the compact development budget; to recruit, hire, and manage all necessary staff; to manage cooperation across the government; to coordinate with civil society, the private sector, and international development partners; to conduct public outreach; and to make critical decisions throughout the compact development process. Each selected country should also take steps to ensure that its National Coordinator enjoys strong political support, has access to senior officials and decision makers, and can readily obtain data and information, staff time, and other necessary resources from all relevant government entities.
Economist: Each Compact Development Team should include at least one senior economist who will take the lead in identifying, assessing, and explaining the underlying economic logic and likely economic impact of the selected country’s proposed compact program. In the preliminary stage of compact development, the economist will organize and lead the selected country’s research and assessment of the Constraints to Economic Growth Analysis (see Chapter 3). In later stages, the economist will build the economic justification for concept projects, develop a detailed program logic, conduct a detailed analysis of the economic characteristics of any proposed projects, calculate economic rates of return (ERRs) for proposed projects, and assess how proposed projects will impact intended beneficiaries through a Beneficiary Analysis, with particular attention on poor households and disadvantaged groups, including women. In many cases, the economist also will manage inputs from support staff, external consultants, and partner institutions, and will ensure communication about costs and benefits of the proposed program with external stakeholders.
Strong candidates for the economist position will have an advanced degree in economics, finance, or public administration and a number of years of experience in project economics, including prior work with a national economic development agency or international development partner.
Private sector development specialist. The Compact Development Team also should include a private sector development specialist who will identify and assess impediments to private business activity and will develop opportunities to expand private sector participation and private sector investment through the selected country’s proposed compact program. In the preliminary stage of compact development, the private sector development specialist will work closely with the economist to ensure a full understanding of private business concerns that arise in the analysis of constraints to economic growth. In later stages, the private sector development specialist will identify and develop approaches that address those concerns or otherwise ensure the long-term financial and institutional sustainability of the selected country’s proposed compact program. In many cases, the private sector development specialist also will manage outreach to the business community, including small and medium business owners, industry leaders, business associations, and domestic and foreign investors.
Strong candidates for this private sector development position will have an advanced degree in economics, finance, business or business administration, or a related field, along with a number of years of experience in economic planning, economic development, investment promotion, trade promotion, or another field that involves private sector concerns.
Social inclusion and gender integration specialist: The Compact Development Team staff also should include a social inclusion and gender integration specialist. This specialist ensures that the proposed compact program addresses social and gender inequalities that can limit economic growth and the reduction of poverty and is primarily concerned with gender equality, poverty reduction and inclusive growth. The social inclusion and gender integration specialist works to ensure that the proposed compact program is developed in such a way that anticipated benefits reach the poor and include women and other disadvantaged groups. In the preliminary stage of compact development, the social inclusion and gender integration specialist will work closely with the economist to ensure a full understanding of the legal, institutional, social, and cultural issues that impede economic growth and poverty reduction among women, the poor and disadvantaged social groups, as part of the analysis of constraints to economic growth, the problem diagnosis, and project definition. In later stages, the social inclusion and gender integration specialist will participate in the development and design of proposed projects to ensure that social inclusion and gender issues are fully addressed. The social inclusion and gender integration specialist will help design of the public consultation and stakeholder engagement strategy to ensure full participation of groups representing women and disadvantaged populations.
Strong candidates for this social inclusion and gender integration position will have a detailed understanding of the extent and nature of poverty and social inequality in the country, and a strong knowledge of policies, laws and institutions that relate to social inclusion and gender equality concerns in the selected country. Most candidates will have an advanced degree in sociology, anthropology or a related social science field, along with extensive work experience related to poverty, social inequality, and gender issues, including work with an international development partner.
Public outreach and stakeholder engagement specialist: The Compact Development Team should include a public outreach and stakeholder engagement specialist to solicit public comment, incorporate meaningful input from key stakeholders into the selection, development, and design of projects, and ensure transparency throughout the compact development process. The public outreach and stakeholder engagement specialist will plan and execute a broad process of public consultations and stakeholder engagement during the early stages of compact development, working in close collaboration with the Compact Development Team private sector specialist and gender and social integration specialist, and will ensure continued engagement with stakeholders throughout the compact development process.
Strong candidates for the public outreach and stakeholder engagement position will have a degree in public policy, community development, communications, public relations or a related field. Their prior work should include experience leading public information campaigns or organizing and conducting participatory stakeholder consultations, including work with international development partners.