Country Categories: The Strategic Framework identifies five broad categories (Rebuilding, Developing, Transforming, Sustaining Partnership, and Restrictive) of countries with similar political, economic, and social characteristics. Each category is associated with areas of emphasis for U.S. Foreign Assistance – whether it be investments in people and economic growth for "Transforming" countries or improvements in governance and democratic participation for "Developing" countries. While being "in" a category helps determine where to target assistance to maximize country progress, it has no direct effect on funding level.
Measuring Progress: Countries are placed into categories based on a set of objective indicators including governance, anti-corruption, attention to the human capacity of their people, economic growth, and income status. These vetted indicators are from the World Bank Institute, UNESCO, Freedom House, and other independent sources and are also used by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The indicators are analytical and objective, are comparable across countries, and are publicly available. For a list of indicators, please refer to the Millennium Challenge Corporation site.
Graduation Benchmarks: For Developing, Transforming, and Sustaining Partnership countries, income status or scores on the MCC indicators determine when a country is ready to graduate from one category to the next. Rebuilding countries graduate based on the achievement of a stable environment for continued development and security progress. Restrictive countries can graduate when a legislative or administrative policy determination has been made that governance issues have been sufficiently addressed.
The Framework and Foreign Assistance Levels: The framework is not used to determine funding levels for any individual country, category of countries or any particular strategic objective. However, the framework – and the underlying detailed program structure –can help keep budget decisions focused on strategic priorities and channel resources where they are needed most.
The highlighted cells in the framework indicate the implied concentration of resources by Country Category and Objective. The cells outlined in red indicate the concentration of MCC resources.