MCC was founded on the following principles:
- MCC has a single mission: reducing poverty through economic growth.
- Aid is more effective in countries where there is good governance, personal and economic freedom, and investment in people.
- Country ownership of programs from the start is essential for sustainable success.
- Data-driven analytical rigor and a focus on outcomes should govern resource allocation, project design, and results measurement.
- Transparency and accountability must be embedded in all aspects of the country partnership—before, during, and after the compact period.
Based on these principles, MCC’s founders established a new model for development. That model raised a number of questions about its underlying assumptions:
- Does growth really drive poverty reduction?
- Does good governance foster growth and development?
- Would it be possible to find poor countries demonstrably committed to good governance?
- Would the U.S. Government (USG) accept this discipline in selecting eligible countries?
- Would poor countries pursue the right policies, make data-driven investment decisions, and implement projects effectively?
- Could MCC effectively empower partner countries to “own” the design and implementation of projects?
- Could large grants for infrastructure be deployed productively and effectively within five-year compacts?
- Would extreme transparency backfire? Would full honesty about results—good and bad—jeopardize funding?