Washington — The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation has set evaluation and accountability standards for international development assistance that inform aid officials about which approaches work best and which do not, said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"We have to have better data, harder analysis, more accountability," instead of relying on the development approaches used in the past, Clinton told MCC staff in Washington November 27.
MCC currently invests more than $9 billion in 35 countries to help low-income people gain better access to food, energy, water and infrastructure and become competitive in the marketplace, said MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yohannes.
Clinton, who chairs MCC's board of directors, said MCC "showcases some of our best thinking about how to do development for the 21st century."
"People around the world are eager to partner with MCC and even willing to try to meet the standards that have been devised for such a partnership," Clinton said. Under her tenure, MCC completed nine multiyear country funding agreements - or compacts - and signed eight new compacts.
Clinton stressed that U.S. development policy under President Obama has focused on results. She said the United States looks to MCC for help in continuing to shift the U.S. approach to development assistance as investments balancing risk with reward instead of as aid.
In addition, she said the United States wants to expand its network of local and national partners in the countries with which it has development funding agreements. She also called for global enforcement of transparency in the use of aid funds.
Clinton stressed that the long-term U.S. goal is to no longer need to do development. "We are pursuing country-owned efforts that are led, implemented and eventually paid for by a nation's own government, communities, civil society and private sector," she said.
The agency's approach to development assistance has gained attention from people outside of the U.S. government.
"MCC's commitment to evaluation, accountability, learning and transparency is a model not only for donors, but for government policy," said Harvard University economist Michael Kremer.