DFID responds to watchdog criticism on Africa programmes

4 Aug 17

The Department for International Development has published a mixed response to a review of its work in Africa by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact.

ICAI released a report on inclusive growth in Africa in June and this week the DFID has issued a response to a number of recommendations made by the commission.

The report had called on DFID to improve its diagnostic and planning tools to more clearly support country offices to prioritise and concentrate their investments into areas with the greatest potential for the department to contribute towards transformative growth.

The department acknowledged that good prioritisation was important and laid out measures it would take to strengthen this area of its work.

This includes building up the technical and academic foundation of their diagnostic tool, embedding it into the spending review cycle to country offices understand its potential for transformative growth and improving the tools’ ability to track progress and results.

Another recommendation was to offer more guidance on how to build a portfolio that balances investments in long-term structural change and job creation with programming to increase incomes for poor people in existing livelihood areas.

DFID only “partially accepted” this recommendation, arguing it has a strong track record of ing livelihoods such as farming.

It also highlighted its commitment in its new Economic Development Strategy to poorer workers get out of poverty.

Further recommendations regarding greater inclusion for women, young people and marginalised groups as well as a greater role for government alongside the private sector were accepted by DFID.

A spokesman for the department said: “DFID recognises some of the challenges that ICAI has identified and agrees with the importance of continuing to improve our approach.

“In line with DFID’s Economic Development Strategy, DFID is taking steps to better track progress and results across our economic development investments; further enhancing the operational value of diagnostics; and strengthening our approach to generating and applying analysis on the distributional and political economy dimensions of our economic development work.”

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