This week, the Millennium Challenge Corporation released its Business Forecast for the fiscal year 2018. The forecast, like its counterpart at the United States Agency for International Development, is an indicative pipeline of opportunities for businesses to contract and work with MCC. The opportunities vary greatly in nature — some are job vacancies in Washington, D.C., others are for monitoring and evaluation services in compact countries.
Like USAID, MCC gives ranges of what they expect to spend for each opportunity, rather than discrete budget estimates. As a result, the summed budget for the year is also a range: according to the forecast, MCC expects to spend between $72 million and $362 million in 2018 on 205 different opportunities.
This is a slight dip in size from the pipeline released at MCC’s 2017 midyear update, when the range stood at $76 million to $399 million. The difference comes from some large, off-setting changes in the amount of new opportunities in the pipeline. MCC differentiates between “new awards” — re-openings of existing opportunities, for which there is an incumbent provider — and “new requirements,” which are fresh chances to contract with MCC without incumbent competition.
Since the midyear update of the pipeline, the value of “new awards” fell from $122 million to $71 million (as an average of the estimated range), but the amount of “new requirements” (also as an average of the range) has increased from $40 million to $52 million. So while there are fewer new opportunities coming up in 2018, a larger proportion of them are brand new. Many of the new requirements are in Africa, including three more opportunities in Mozambique worth $6.1 million; three more in Niger, also worth $6.1 million; and two in Senegal, worth $5.7 million.