Changing the rules of the game: An introduction to the PIR Methods Menu
MCC and 3ie partnered to develop a Policy and Institutional Reform (PIR) methods menu. This convenient tool helps users find and select approaches to assessing and supporting policy and institutional reform. It currently includes over fifty methods organized by program phase, mode of inquiry, and research question. The current version reflects critical feedback from diverse reviewers including project managers, emerging evaluators, and leading evaluation experts.
Time: 9:00 am-10:30 am EST
Sustainable development usually requires changes in how partner countries use their own resources and regulate their economies. That is, it requires policy and institutional reform (PIR). The importance of institutional quality to economic growth is a defining feature of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). It is apparent in the Millennium Challenge Act (2003) that established the MCC and defined its mandate; in the selection and eligibility criteria that determine with whom MCC partners; and most importantly, in MCC’s investments which overwhelming include PIR support. As MCC’s 20th birthday approaches, PIR’s importance to sustainable country-led growth remains central. In her remarks at the Woodrow Wilson Center, CEO Alice Albright highlighted MCC’s critical role in helping democracies deliver for its citizens, supporting systems change for economic resilience, and the importance of ‘soft’ policy reforms for sustaining the benefits from ‘hard’ infrastructure.
Indeed, policy and institutional reform has the potential for larger and more enduring impact than other development approaches, but it presents unique challenges. First, institutional problems are difficult to understand. Much is unknown, unpredictable, and rapidly changing. Second, PIR often disrupts the status quo. Powerful actors with a lot to lose may block reforms. Third, commonly used approaches to supporting reforms are ill-suited to the dynamic and context-specific nature of institutional problems. Adopting new and better-suited approaches to addressing institutional and other challenges requires a mind shift.
To support this effort, MCC and 3ie partnered to develop the PIR Methods Menu. This convenient tool helps users find and select approaches to assessing and supporting policy and institutional reform. It currently includes over fifty methods organized by program phase, mode of inquiry, and research question. The current version reflects critical feedback from diverse reviewers including project managers, emerging evaluators, and leading evaluation experts. This event will officially launch the tool not as a final product, but as the first version that we hope will continue to evolve based on engagement with users.
The event will include opening remarks from Alicia Phillips-Mandaville (Vice President of MCC’s Department of Policy and Evaluation), a primer on the challenges and promise of PIR’s role in sustainable development, and a walkthrough of the new PIR Methods Menu tool. This will be followed by an interview-style panel discussion on approaches for PIR at each stage in the program cycle, as well as opportunities for participant feedback and questions. The final speakers are TBC.