RESULTS UK welcomes ICAI recommendations on better policy coherence for withdrawal of UK aid

LONDON, 16 November 2016: RESULTS UK welcomes the recommendations in the ICAI review, ‘When aid relationships change: DFID approach to exit and transition in its development partnerships’, released today.

The Review brings important attention to the significant impact that donor withdrawal can have and has had in countries facing or undergoing transition away from donor resources. In some of these countries coverage of life-saving interventions, such as treatment for TB, is still failing to reach many of those who need it. When countries cover the gap left by donor withdrawal, reaching the large number of people currently unreached becomes even harder. In this context, we encourage DFID and other government departments to acknowledge the seriousness of the challenges faced by countries facing transition, which are only going to become more critical as more countries move to middle income status and face changes in development financing.

When DFID or multilateral organisations withdraw funding from a country, they must ensure that development gains are not lost, especially in health and human development. As the Review correctly points out, this requires the correct policies and guidance to be in place to support countries through the process. We welcome the recommendation that a central point of responsibility for exit and transition should be established within DFID. We also agree that policy coherence, and shared learning, should be a priority for DFID - with increased coordination across Whitehall departments to assess risk and manage the transition process.

RESULTS UK believes that civil society has an important role to play before, during, and after changes in donor financing, and welcome the Review’s emphasis on the impact and consequences for civil society at both a financial and a practical level. Civil society organizations often play a crucial role in delivering services to populations that government cannot reach, and in holding their governments to account. It is therefore of particular concern that DFID withdrawal from the countries in question resulted in the parallel withdrawal of other donors and a significant loss of funding, which placed past DFID investments at risk. DFID must ensure that, in future, there are appropriate mechanisms in place to prevent this occurring.

Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, RESULTS UK, said: “The ICAI report is extremely timely. More than 70% of the world’s poorest people now live in middle-income countries that are facing significant changes in development financing in the imminent future, both bilaterally and from multilateral organisations. If we are truly committed to leaving no one behind, transition to full country ownership of services for all people when donors withdraw is something we cannot afford to get wrong.”

Notes to the editor:

For further information, please contact Amy Whalley, Head of Policy Advocacy on amy.whalley@results.org.uk or 020 7793 3970

RESULTS UK is a movement of passionate, committed, everyday people who together use their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. For more information please visit www.results.org.uk

RESULTS UK is a charity registered as RESULTS Education in England and Wales (1015286), a company limited by guarantee (2761858), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC041481).