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ODI questions UK push to change OECD's ODA definition

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a UK think tank, has questioned the government’s pledge to amend the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA). ODI claim any change to the definition should be to better reflect the purpose of ODA: that is, the eradication of poverty, not so that countries can appear to spend more on development without increasing commitments.

During the general election campaign in June 2017, the conservative UK government announced their intention to challenge the current definition of ODA. This came in response to public pressure after the UK enshrined its 0.7% of GNI ODA target into law.

Website – Overseas Development Institute

United Kingdom

UK commits additional £100 million to eradicate polio by 2020

UK International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, has pledged £100 million (US$152.9  million) to help eradicate polio. The funds will be channeled through the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement programs of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This funding is additional to DFID's 2013 commitment to spend £300 million (US$ 468.8 million) on polio efforts between 2013 and 2018.

It is expected by experts that the last new case of polio will be diagnosed in 2017. For polio to be officially declared eradicated, three years must lapse without any cases diagnosed worldwide.

Press release – DFID

United Kingdom Global health

ICAI releases report on DFID’s approach to inclusive economic growth in Africa

The UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)
has reviewed and scored the Department for International Development's (DFID) approach to economic development in Africa. ICAI is an independent entity which examines official UK development spending to ensure it is spent effectively. ICAI reports to the International Development Committee (IDC) of the British parliament.

The recent review found that DFID’s overall approach to economic development and learning is satisfactory at the central level, however there was mixed performance at country and program level. 

Report – ICAI

United Kingdom

DFID secretary of state reinforces economic progress and multilateral reforms in UK development priorities

At a parliamentary reception, Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, explained her vision of why British development assistance remains of vital importance internationally - and to the UK. In her speech, Secretary Patel: 

  • emphasized the UK’s global influence through development cooperation, but underlined that efforts should support British interests
  • reiterated a commitment to economic development, citing DFID's first-ever economic development strategy (2017)
  • re-affirmed a UK commitment to multilateral system reform to ensure that the organizations are fit for purpose in the 21st century

With the upcoming release of a new strategy from the UK's development finance institution, CDC Group, increasing amounts of UK ODA are likely to focus on economic growth and trade.

Speech - DFID

United Kingdom

Paper on attitudes toward refugees and migrants suggests facts and evidence are not as effective as emotive and value-driven arguments

British think tanks Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Chatham House have published a working paper outlining current global polling data on public attitudes towards refugees and migrants and the factors influencing these attitudes. The paper concludes, among other things, that:

  • effective engagement to shape public attitudes towards refugees and migrants requires understanding of the real-world concerns, emotions, and values that inform them
  • evidence-based approaches continue to be important in influencing policy and strategy, but are unlikely to change set opinions
  • successful engagement strategies might use a shared-values approach, while highlighting the manageability of the refugee/migration situation

Report - ODI

United Kingdom

DFID publishes country and sector profiles on UK development strategy

The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) has published 33 profiles that set out how country and regional programs contribute to delivering the UK 'Aid Strategy' for the financial years 2017/18 to 2018/2019. Each paper sets out DFID’s rationale for investing in the country, as well as major objectives through 2019. The papers also specify how DFID is working to transition countries away from development assistance, and what is being achieved for the UK. Profiles include Afghanistan, Syria, and the African region.

Website - DFID

United Kingdom

Bond study suggests 'Brexit' may negatively affect UK CSOs

A Bond study has shown that UK CSOs are at risk of funding shortfalls that could be as high as the total amount they are currently receiving (€356.9 million in 2016). Currently, UK CSOs are the largest recipient of EU grant funding and the second-largest recipient of EU development assistance. Following Brexit, it is likely that CSOs working on issues that do not align with the priorities of the Department for International Development (DFID) will see significant reductions in funds. Humanitarian assistance is particularly at risk due to European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) eligibility requirements.

Publication - Bond 

United Kingdom

UK audit office calls for improvement evaluation of UK delivery of aid in new report

In a new report, the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) identifies gaps in the management and monitoring of ODA spending by departments with ODA portfolios. While the report commends the Department for International Development (DFID) on improvements to management and effective ODA planning, it highlights the need for improved ways of capturing the effectiveness of ODA expenditure and assessing its coherence across the government.

Aligned with the UK's 2015 Aid Strategy, DFID's share of the UK ODA budget is steadily decreasing with ODA increasingly allocated to other government departments and agencies. In 2013, DFID was responsible for 88% of total ODA spending, but in 2015, it spent just over 80% and it is estimated to be reduced to 70% by 2020. The report criticizes the Treasury for not taking into account the capacities of the departments to manage ODA funding increases, suggesting that the growing share of UK ODA spent by departments beyond DFID is not managed or scrutinized effectively, and that spending can be uneven and rushed. 

Report - National Audit Office

United Kingdom

Stephen Twigg re-elected as chair of IDC

Following the UK general election in June 2017, the Parliament's International Development Committee (IDC) has re-elected Stephen Twigg as its Chair. The IDC is an investigative committee that monitors the Department for International Development’s (DFID) administration and management, policy orientations, and spending.

News - UK Parliament

United Kingdom

DFID announces additional funding at Family Planning Summit in London

At the London Summit on Family Planning, Priti Patel, the British Secretary of State for International Development, announced an additional £45 million (US$69 million) of funding per year over the next five years to family planning (FP). The Summit seeks to ensure that women and girls around the world have the ability to plan their families, and their futures. Britain is the world's second-largest bilateral donor to FP, and this new funding brings total UK commitment to FP around £225 million (US$344 million) per year until 2022.

Press release - UK Government

Publication - UK Government

United Kingdom