A Banker’s Perspective on Development: MFAN Partners respond to MCC CEO’s Major Policy Speech

Last week, MFAN Partner the Center for American Progress teamed up with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research to host a joint event: The Road to Better Aid: An Emerging Bipartisan Consensus? Daniel Yohannes, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, gave the keynote address followed by a panel discussion with MFAN Principal John Norris, Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at CAP and Mauro De Lorenzo, Visiting Fellow at AEI. Philip I. Levy, Resident Scholar at AEI moderated the discussion.

Yohannes gave a straightforward speech, making a direct appeal for better use of taxpayer dollars. “I have a client – the U.S. taxpayer.  I have a partner – the countries receiving MCC assistance and the citizens they represent.  And, I have a goal – to get the best return on America’s investment,” he said.

MFAN Partner, the U.S. Guntitledlobal Leadership Coalition, highlighted Yohannes’ remarks on their Global Impact blog, saying “Yohannes drew on his own background as a banker, focusing on the importance of a good return on investment for the U.S. taxpayer. President Obama’s global development policy calls for sustainable economic growth in well-governed partner countries that will enact reforms to ensure government accountability and create favorable business conditions in the private sector. Yohannes said, ‘MCC’s rigorous approach requires that we only invest in those proposals with the strongest potential to reduce poverty and increase incomes.  This enables us to answer the fundamental question of aid effectiveness: Do the expected results from our investment justify the use of scarce aid dollars?'”

Sarah Jane Staats, Director of Policy Outreach at MFAN Partner the Center for Global Development, reviewed Yohannes’ speech last week on their Rethinking Foreign Assistance blog.

“Yohannes, in a departure from speeches I have heard him give before, focused on the MCC’s role in the broader U.S. development policy landscape and the attributes that distinguish the MCC mission and way of doing business. He outlined five development ideas that have broad political support inside and outside the Beltway:

-America’s global leadership should include leadership on development challenges.

-U.S. development should focus on economic growth.

-Accountability and selectivity matter.

-Countries are partners not clients.

-Real results and impact are key, not how much is spent.

He said the Obama administration’s new global development policy is focused on putting these principles into action, and that ‘of course, we have been practicing them at MCC for the last seven years.’”

To read CEO Yohannes speech, titled “Investing in Development: On the Road to Better Aid, MCC is Paving the Way” click here.

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