UK aid: other government departments inquiry launched

07 December 2016

The International Development Committee is holding an inquiry into UK aid: other government departments.

Scope of the inquiry

The International Development Committee invites written submissions into all aspects of official development assistance (ODA) spending by departments other than DFID, and is particularly interested in the following:

  • How effective are other government departments (OGDs) in their spending of ODA?
  • Do OGDs have the right focus in their spending of ODA?
  • How should DFID be supporting OGDs in their spending of ODA?
  • What level of oversight should DFID have of ODA spend by OGDs?
  • How effective is the current system of scrutiny of ODA spend by OGDs, including scrutiny of OGDs by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)?

Written Submissions

The deadline for written submissions is 4pm on Tuesday 14 February 2017. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.

The Committee considers requests for reasonable adjustments to its usual arrangements for taking evidence and publishing material, to enhance access. Please contact or telephone 020 7219 1223.

Written evidence submitted should:

  • Have a one page summary at the front
  • Be no longer than 3000 words in length


The UK aid strategy commits the Government to administering more official development assistance (ODA) through departments other than DFID. By the end of the current Spending Review period in 2020, the Government expects around 30% of UK aid to be being spent through other government departments (OGDs). This is a major increase over a ten-year period, with the previous figures for ODA spend by OGDs being 10.5% in 2011, 13.8% in 2014 and 19.5% in 2015 (averaging about 15% over the last Spending Review period, 2011–15).

The major ODA-spending OGDs (those spending more than 1% of total UK ODA in 2015) are the National Security Council, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Home Office. The Department of Health is also increasing its ODA spend, helping to administer the Fleming Fund, the UK Vaccines Network and the Ross Fund.

Previous Scrutiny

In 2015 ICAI carried out, and reported to the Committee, ‘A preliminary investigation of Official Development Assistance (ODA) spent by departments other than DFID’. It noted that, with budgetary restrictions, “other departments may still face incentives to increase their ODA.” It suggested that this be kept under review.

The International Development Committee previously looked at the issue of ODA spend by OGDs in its inquiry into UK aid: allocation of resources. It expressed concern about whether OGDs have a proper focus on poverty reduction, and the capacity to deliver aid. The Committee also stated an intention to undertake scrutiny of all UK ODA, regardless of spending department, both through ICAI and through its own inquiries into UK aid.

Further information

Image: Sgt Neil Bryden-RAF


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