Bee keeper in Guatemala

DFID’s approach to value for money in programme and portfolio management

21 February 2018ICAI

Bond welcomes the latest report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) on “DFID’s approach to value for money in programme and portfolio management”, which found the department’s approach was helping to make UK aid spending go further, but improvements are still needed.

The performance review examined how well DFID had considered value for money across its operations, and if it was also delivering improvements in value for money. The review pointed out DFID had improved its systems and processes to ensure maximum value for each pound spent. There was also praise for the commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals to “leave no one behind”, as DFID adds “equity” as a measure of how it tracks value for money. ICAI also highlighted that DFID had begun to place a greater emphasis of the quality of results over just the quality.

Paramount among the concerns highlighted by the report however was DFID’s current approach risks leading to a prioritisation of short-term results over and above achieving longer-term change by enabling others to contribute to positive transformative change.

The report outlined five key recommendations where DFID needed to improve. They include the need for DFID to concentrate more on investing in long term impacts, and measuring the outcome of their programmes through the current results system. The report also welcomed DFID’s commitments on development effectiveness, including on increasing local capacity and accountability, but these commitments were not linked to the department’s approach to value for money.

ICAI lead commissioner for the report, Tina Fahm, said DFID was “undoubtedly making the UK’s aid spending go further and reach more people”. She went on to add “There are still important areas for improvement to ensure the department delivers the maximum value for UK taxpayers and makes the biggest difference possible to the lives of those it helps.

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