The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Office of Capacity Building and Development
manage the Food for Progress Program (FFPr) that is designed to assist developing countries
around the world. To enhance and improve prioritization of countries for funding, this project
aims to identify comparable, cross-country sources of objective and quantifiable data and
indicators to identify potential countries for receiving USDA FFPr funds. After a rigorous
literature review on theory of prioritization and a comprehensive look of several organizations,
this project focused on a few organizations and based the work largely on the Millennium
Challenge Corporation (MCC). MCC provides detailed information about their country selection
process, indicators used, criteria used to select indicators, and country eligibility. The first step in
the process is to narrow the list of countries potentially available for funding by including only
Low Income and Lower-Middle Income countries, as determined by the Gross National Income.
Several best-fitting, high quality indicators were chosen that were relevant to the goal of this
project. The list of indicators can be broken down either politically or by the three key outcomes
of the USDA. The list of indicators was narrowed to thirteen based on a set of strict criteria.
These criteria were chosen in order to eliminate all but the highest-quality indicators. Indicators
were given different weights depending on its importance and relevancy. The data for the
selected indicators were extracted from different sources and aggregated for analysis. Then the
countries were ranked, and this ranking process involved a multistep process. To make the data
comparable, the data were rescaled and weighted before it was ranked. Out of eighty-one
applicable countries, the pool was narrowed to the top fifteen most appropriate countries per the
table of indicators. We have two different results: 1) when the indicators were given individual
weights in order of importance to the USDA’s goals, and 2) when the indicators were equally
weighted. We recommend the individualized weights. These fifteen countries are the result of the
model. The top fifteen countries were assessed in terms of validity, and in terms of countries that
the FFPr and MCC are currently or have worked with in the past, the prioritization model works
well well. However, the prioritization model is a purely mathematical, quantitative model and
does not consider agency-specific criteria. Therefore, it is highly recommended that
organizations use this model only as a starting point and then apply practical world knowledge
and agency-specific criteria to formulate a final list of priority countries. A few indicators have
been highlighted that were not feasible due to not meeting the criteria but could be instrumental
for future consideration if the data does improve. Additionally, for future work, other qualitative
sources of information not used in this project could help guide country selection. It is the
expectation of this project that the model will prove to be instrumental in prioritizing countries
for purposes of aid beyond the confines of USDA, across borders, and for many organizations
working to help developing nations.
Abdiwahab, Ali; Brailsford, Elizabeth; Gurung, Tashi; Kenney, Brandon; Yamoah, Evans.
A Prioritization Model for Country Selection.
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.