The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) board of directors, at its quarterly meeting March 26, affirmed the global anti-poverty agency’s commitment to collaborate with experts, data scientists and other U.S. government agencies on finding better tools for measuring corruption.
As part of its efforts to combat corruption, and to ensure that MCC works with partner countries that share the agency’s values, MCC uses the best available data to measure corruption in potential partner countries, the agency said March 26 on its website.
MCC uses data that comes from the “Control of Corruption” indicator produced annually by the Brookings Institution and World Bank. The indicator measures the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain and helps determine whether poor countries are well governed. MCC’s investments, also known as compacts, have the objective of helping countries that are poor and well-governed to reduce poverty by catalyzing economic growth.
“Fighting corruption has always been the cornerstone of how MCC fights poverty,” stated MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes. “At MCC, we put our values into practice,” added Yohannes.
Corruption hinders economic growth by increasing costs, lowering productivity, discouraging investment, and reducing confidence in public institutions, MCC said. American businesses and their local partners need business-friendly environments that are free from corruption and conducive to job creation, it added.
The board also discussed the policy performance of countries currently working to develop compacts with MCC. It received an update on the agency’s efforts to develop partnerships that would expand MCC’s cooperation with the private sector. Efforts to leverage complementary investment capital were highlighted as well as current measures to improve the sustainability and impact of MCC programs.
Yohannes’ remarks to the board underscored recent events, including President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 request to Congress for an 11 percent increase in the agency’s annual budget as well as MCC’s new partnership with the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, which administers the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This partnership aims to help countries empower themselves to confront development challenges like HIV/AIDS, MCC said.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew serve as board chairman and vice chairman, respectively. The board is also composed of the U.S. Trade Representative, the administrator of USAID, the CEO of MCC, and four members from the private sector appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.
More information on MCC is available on the agency’s website.
- Cross posted from the U.S. Mission to Geneva