How to Enhance UK Aid Effectiveness: Written Evidence

On 30th April, Ian Mitchell submitted written evidence on aid effectiveness to the International Development Select Committee. See here for a link to the oral evidence and a link to the original published on the International Development Select Committee website.

Overall, the UK has strengths in relation to several important dimensions of aid effectiveness. In relation to COVID-19, the UK can be proud of its international contribution to date—as the only major donor to voluntarily fund core WHO costs; a founding member of GAVI in 2000 (the vaccine alliance); responding with substantial funds used multilaterally; and calls to keep trade open, and making solutions accessible.

The UK’s approach shows strengths which include the use of evidence and business cases; working through multilateral agencies; the transparency of much of its work; its general avoidance of tied aid; and an operationally independent watchdog (Independent Commission for Aid Impact, ICAI) with good Parliamentary scrutiny. 

Still, the UK has stepped back from its leadership role on development and effectiveness. In aid effectiveness, there are four significant areas for improvement in its approach.

First, UK aid effectiveness has fallen in our suite of aid quality indicators. In particular, the UK provides a smaller share to poorer and fragile countries than it used to; aid recipients report less ownership, and more fragmentation; and other countries have overtaken it in several areas, including on transparency.

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