Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

So the DfID is to be no more, although we're keeping the 0.7% of national income devoted to development.  We're one of only a small handful of countries to do this as hardly anyone else took seriously that UN idea that dates from the 1970s.  Personally, I'm shedding no tears at DfID's demise having been appalled over the years at the reports of waste, especially of the £zillions going into NGO bank accounts and resting there.

How better the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will manage matters has to be an open question.  One significant improvement might be to relax the rule that all the money has to be spent in a 12 month period.  Legion are the tales of civil servants shovelling cash out of the door as the end of a tax year looms.  DfID fans (and they are many) may be weeping, wailing and gnashing teeth, but they might take a sober look at DfID's chequered history and also wonder whether, being inside a great office of state (that's never going to be abolished), might offer some protection to both the budget and its purposes.

I also note that the development budget is increasingly being used to support conversation and climate change.  Quite right, I'd say, even if it means fewer Spice Girl tribute bands.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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