Measuring success

Matt takes issue with my praise of the Millenium Challenge Corporation, noting this article complaining about the slow pace of aid.

Actually, as I understand it, this is a feature, not a bug. The idea of the MCC was to change the traditional "Don't just stand there: do something!" approach to disbursing aid. The MCC projects are large and very carefully designed, which is taking a lot of time. This may not turn out to make a difference. But the general approach of measuring aid by the amount of cash you managed to pump out, rather than the results generated thereby, was a very bad idea that the MCC was designed to challenge. It makes little sense to declare the project a failure on the ground that it's not spraying dollars over Africa like a firehose.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In