Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit (MCCU)
The MCC is a US foreign aid agency that is helping countries fight widespread poverty through economic growth. The MCC assesses over two hundred countries annually that are either LICs or LMICs on a competitive basis. To be selected, a country must pass a minimum of ten out of twenty governance related indicators including those of “political rights” and “control of corruption”.
These indicators cover three broad areas: Economic Freedoms, Investing in People and Ruling Justly. In 2012, Sierra Leone passed twelve out of twenty indicators including those of corruption and political rights and therefore qualified to develop a compact.
The Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit (MCCU) was thus set up in March 2013 and placed in the Office of the Chief of Staff. The unit has a core mandate of taking the lead in the compact development process for possible funding from the MCC. The process is led by the Compact Development Coordinator and is supported by a multidisciplinary team with a variety of expertise.
The MCCU also hosts the policy benchmarking unit that is charged with the main responsibility of working with key stakeholders to ensure that secondary data sources used by the MCC are availed readily; it also has a secondary function of working with key Ministries, Department and Agencies to overcome indicators that pose a challenge for Government.
The compact development process is divided into five phases including the start up and preliminary analyses; project definition; project development and appraisal; compact negotiation and signing; and pre-entry into force. On the average, the compact development process takes between twenty-four to twenty-seven months. The Unit has concluded the first two phases of the compact development process.
The first phase included conducting an economic constraints analysis which identified the principal impediments to economic growth, a social and gender assessment, an investment opportunity analysis, and public consultations with various stakeholders.
The Unit has also submitted concept notes and concept papers to the MCC that proposes projects to be undertaken in the electrical power sector and, the water and sanitation sector, as part of the second phase. The unit is now at the phase three which includes conducting detailed project preparatory studies and assessments.
The unit is currently housed at 77 Regent Road, Hill Station Freetown.