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.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

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

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Business

Just In