The Future of UK Development Policy

The UK was once seen as a leader in international development, but amid a series of crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and spikes in energy and food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has stepped back in recent years, with major aid cuts, a reduced focus on the poorest countries, and over a quarter of its aid budget being now spent in the UK. Where should the UK development policy go from here? 

CGD has elevated leading voices across the political spectrum in a series of conversations, including with the current Minister of State for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell and former Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Preet Gill, to set out their vision for the UK’s role on a global stage. 

And with the next UK general elections scheduled to be held no later than January 2025, CGD colleagues are also presenting proposals and recommendations for what the UK’s future role in international development should be. Explore our work—from innovative policy proposals, to recent events, as well as more in depth research, below: 

More from the Series

Blog Post
What To Look for In the UK’s New Development White Paper
November 16, 2023
Well done Andrew Mitchell. On Monday he will unveil the UK’s first White Paper on development for 14 years, and the first credible statement of policy and intent on the subject of any kind for more than a decade. (Yes, there have been previous documents claiming to be strategies, including Liz Truss...
UK Development Finance beyond ODA: Mapping and Assessing the UK’s Non-grant Development Finance
September 07, 2023
The UK government has significantly expanded its development finance beyond ODA. The strategic use of guarantees, export finance, and other instruments is not a substitute for grants to the poorest, but instead offers the prospect of mobilising significant lending to developing countries, which can ...



6:30—7:30 AM EDT | 11.30am - 12.30pm BST

The Future of UK Policy on Development: A Conversation with Lord Jeremy Purvis, Lib Dem Spokesperson for International Development
August 23, 2023
In this event, Lord Jeremy Purvis will set out the Liberal Democrats' approach to international development, as we approach the General Election. He will also give his perspective on the challenges facing UK development policy, the strengths and weaknesses of its approach, and the goals it should pu...
Blog Post
Charting a Course Back for UK Development Policy
August 01, 2023
I have already suggested some of what I’d like to see in UK party political manifestos on the topic of global development, and while some of that is outside the remit of a paper that apparently won’t discuss overall funding levels or institutional arrangements, there’s still a lot left. It would be ...



8:30—9:30 AM EDT | 1.30 - 2.30 PM BST

The State of UK Development: A Conversation with Sarah Champion MP, International Development Committee Chair
May 02, 2023
Sarah Champion, Chair of the International Development Select Committee & MP for Rotherham, will discuss what the future holds for the UK’s international development policy with Ian Mitchell, Senior Policy Fellow and Co-Director at the Center for Global Development.
Blog Post
From MDB Reform to UK International Development Cooperation: Takeaways from an Evening with Minister Andrew Mitchell
March 14, 2023
On Wednesday March 8, the Center for Global Development hosted an event with Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa of the United Kingdom, as part of our series of conversations and work on the future of development. The Minister spoke about the role the UK is playing today, t...
Blog Post
Labour's Plans for International Development: Preet Gill at CGD
February 14, 2023
Read our summary of the recent wide-ranging conversation between the Shadow International Development Secretary, Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston and Sir Mark Lowcock on the future of the UK's development policy.