MCC's First Open Data Challenge

The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) wants to hear your new and innovative ideas on how to maximize the use of data that MCC finances for its independent evaluations.

Keynote speakers at this year’s BITSS Research Transparency Forum, Jennifer Sturdy and Jack Molyneaux at MCC’s Department of Policy and Evaluation, and Kathy Farley and Kristin Penn at the Department of Compact Operations outlined the details of the challenge in a recent post on the MCC Poverty Reduction Blog.

Why issue the challenge?

The release of this data is intended to facilitate broader use of the data, above and beyond the scope of the independent evaluations that produced this data. Since the challenge was announced at the end of August, one question to MCC has been – what type of additional learning is the agency interested in?

Who can accept the challenge?

MCC has just announced its first Open Data Challenge – the call-to-action to any masters and PhD students working in economics, public policy, international development, or other related fields who are interested in exploring how to use publicly available MCC-financed primary data for policy-relevant analysis.

What is the challenge asking for?

Using data available on the MCC Evaluation Catalog, we are looking for up-to 7,000-word papers that provide analysis in any of the following categories:

  • Analysis that supports or challenges assumptions made in ex-ante economic rate of return estimates (all ERRs are available on the MCC public website)
  • Analysis that supports or challenges results of independent evaluations (all final evaluation reports are published on the MCC Evaluation Catalog)
  • Deeper dive analysis that goes beyond analysis presented in independent evaluator reports
  • Policy relevant analysis, particularly on topics related to MCC priorities, such as gender and poverty-related analysis

What are the benefits of participating?

Your thoughts and expertise on topics that matter can help inform MCC, and other development stakeholders, on what works and what doesn’t.

Up to six selected authors will have their submissions published in the MCC Evaluation Catalog and will receive funding for travel and lodging to present at a research workshop at MCC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

To participate submit a 500-word abstract by 5:00 pm EST on January 31, 2015 and a final submission by 5:00 pm EST on June 30, 2015. More details can be found on the challenge page. Submission instructions will be posted on the page at a later date.