Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shaking up DFID

Andrew Mitchell the Shadow International Development Secretary has said that an incoming Tory government would radically shake up DFID (The Department for International Development), which I have to say is a fantastic thing.

One of the judicial reform projects I've been working on in Nigeria was originally DFID funded, DFID have sunk a huge amount of money into a project that from its inception has never worked and rewarded contracts to companies who have failed to deliver time and time again. They've also totally failed to spot that the real issue in the project has been local capacity of staff not technology. The situation has in fact got so bad with the project that the Lagos State government have decided to effectively forgo ongoing DFID funding and selected their own suppliers and will be self funding the project moving forward.

Some of the key areas that Andrew Mitchell has said he will be looking at is inviting in outsiders to review projects and funding, transforming the kind of work it does and how it operates (more business focused or even civil service focused over it's current NGO style) and carrying out proper reviews not just of spending but out outputs.

If any of this had been happening then I'm sure that the project I'm working on would not be in the state it's in, so a review and radical shake-up  of DFID's work can only be a good thing

Related Content

1 comment:

  1. What you describe is a classic problem of aid, DFID does not by any means have a monopoly on that sort of project failure. But outside audit by itself won't fix the problems, though it might expose them; to fix the problem requires strong management capacity within DFID (as well as in the recipient countries). For the past few years, DFID has been under pressure to spend more while capping or reducing its own expertise and capacity -- but effective spending requires good knowledge of local conditions and effective management.