Nine Ways MCC is Transforming Lives and Creating a Better World

This holiday season, we’re taking a look back at nine ways the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has created a better world at home and abroad this past year. Through MCC’s data-driven investments, we are:

1. Creating jobs and expanding markets

By supporting policy and institutional reforms and funding large-scale infrastructure projects in partner countries, MCC opens new markets for U.S. companies so they can create jobs here at home. Today, we live in a global economy where 95 percent of the world’s consumers are abroad. Already, half of U.S. exports go to developing countries, and six of the 13 fastest growing economies in the world are located in Africa.

MCC is working with other donors to rehabilitate and upgrade the Mt. Coffee hydropower dam to provide 88 MW of power to the Liberia grid. [MCC photo]

Every year, through our partner countries, we issue approximately 550 competitive solicitations worth, on average, more than $600 million. Read more about how we are unlocking private finance in frontier markets and learn about our open procurement opportunities.

2. Building a more stable world

Economic development is a key tool for increasing stability in some of the world’s most challenging regions, which in turn lays the groundwork for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. MCC’s work helps create new sources of prosperity and opportunity around the world.

Workers rehabilitate the Bango Reservoir in the Senegal River Delta as part of MCC's Senegal Compact. [Jake Lyell for MCC]

“When people don’t have access to clean water, roads to take goods to market, and an agricultural sector that produces enough food for everyone, they not only struggle to get ahead, they struggle to have hope and opportunity,” — MCC CEO Dana J. Hyde and ONE Campaign co-founder Jamie Drummond in a Devex op-ed about our support for Niger.

3. Promoting growth through infrastructure

A lack of infrastructure like roads, bridges, power and ports remains a major hurdle to economic growth for developing countries. MCC is investing in and strengthening critical infrastructure that is necessary for stable and resilient societies and connects people to jobs, markets and opportunities.

Two out of every three people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity, which means students can’t study at night, hospitals can’t provide quality healthcare, and businesses struggle to succeed. In Liberia, we are investing in the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant to increase the supply of reliable and affordable electricity for homes and businesses. Learn more about our power investments in Africa from our recent MCC Powering Africa Trip.

4. Investing in the next generation

MCC’s investments in youth and education are bringing young people hope and opportunity. In total, MCC’s education projects have built or rehabilitated roughly 700 schools and supported education activities to benefit nearly half a million students.

Sorya, second from right, attends a vocational training course in Morocco supported by MCC's Morocco Compact. [Jake Lyell for MCC]

Through our first compact with Morocco, students like Sorya (2nd from right) received literacy and vocational training to boost their employability in high-growth industries like agriculture, fishing, and artisan crafts. Today, our second compact with Morocco, the Morocco Employability and Land Compact, is building on that investment to give the country’s young people the skills they need to thrive in the modern workforce.

5. Incentivizing policy and institutional reform

MCC’s rigorous eligibility criteria, competitive selection process, and global credibility have created a powerful incentive for policy and institutional reform, dubbed “the MCC Effect.” Countries around the world are reforming their policy environments to improve their performance on MCC’s annual scorecards.

As part of its effort to improve performance on our scorecard, Sierra Leone launched the Pay No Bribe program, which gives citizens a means to anonymously report bribery and corruption. Read more about Sierra Leone’s Pay No Bribe program in the Economist.

6. Empowering women and girls

MCC empowers women and girls to drive change in their communities. Research shows that addressing gender inequality can unlock economic growth, and MCC is committed to advancing girls’ education and integrating gender considerations across all of its projects.

Ra’eda works as a plumber in Jordan after receiving training through MCC’s Jordan Compact. [MCC photo]

In Jordan, Ra’eda received training as a plumber as part of our investment to improve and sustain the nation’s water infrastructure. Today, she is serving her community and bringing in an income to support her family. The Associated Press profiled another female plumber who participated in the training under our compact with Jordan.

7. Increasing capacity in partner governments

Country ownership is a pillar of the MCC model. When a country is awarded a compact, it sets up its own “Millennium Challenge Account,” a local entity to manage and oversee all aspects of implementation. By partnering with MCC, countries learn effective project implementation and accountability and transparency best practices. MCC’s approach supports self‐sufficiency and builds local expertise and know‐how that endure long after MCC’s investment comes to a close.

A team of roughly 50 professionals at MCA-Malawi, drawn from the country’s public and private sectors, is implementing our $351 million compact to fight poverty in Malawi. With support from their MCC counterparts based in Washington, MCA-Malawi is working with the government and local partners to revitalize the country’s power sector and connect people to reliable electricity.

8. Giving entrepreneurs the tools to succeed

MCC’s projects not only support entrepreneurs and business owners, they give people the tools and resources they need to become entrepreneurs and sustain their businesses. Access to markets means businesses can efficiently reach consumers, and reliable electricity means businesses aren’t subject to losses when the power goes out.

Like many businesses in Accra, Ghana, Billy Saviour Wornyo’s printing firm relies on an expensive generator when the electricity goes out. Through MCC’s Ghana Power Compact, he’s looking forward to a brighter and more stable future. [MCC Photo]

Billy, the owner of a printing firm in Accra, has considered closing his business because of repeated power cuts that force him to rely on an expensive generator. Thanks to our Ghana Power Compact, Billy hopes to use the cost-savings to keep his business afloat and even hire more employees.

9. Laying the groundwork for healthy communities

A healthy population is strongly linked to economic growth and poverty reduction. MCC’s investments help governments provide critical, cost-effective health services that improve lives and build a more productive workforce.

Women in Indonesia learn how to properly measure a baby's size as part of MCC’s Indonesia Compact. The project is designed to improve nutrition by empowering communities through knowledge and local capacity building. [MCC Photo]

In Indonesia, stunting affects one in three children, significantly reducing their lifetime earnings potential. Through our compact, we are providing mothers with micronutrient supplements and offering communities training and grant support for village-level activities focused on health and health education.

Thank you to our partners who have made our work possible this past year. Together, we’re building a better future.

About the Author: Noah Rayman serves as a Speechwriter at the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Editor's Note: This entry was originally published on

For more information: 

  • Follow the Millennium Challenge Corporation on Twitter at @MCCgov.


Plant operator Takondwa Kang'ombe works in the control room of Nkula A power plant, a hydro-electric plant originally commissioned in 1965 that is being renovated under the MCC Malawi Compact. [Jake Lyell for MCC]
Posted by Noah Rayman
December 27, 2016


Latest Stories

January 19, 2017

What We Got Right

With a new administration taking office this week, it is natural to assess the inheritance it will receive from the… more