ICAI scrutinises official UK aid spending for international development.
We are independent of government and report to the International Development Committee of the UK Parliament. We undertake independent reviews of UK aid spending and its contribution to development results.
Our work contributes to the accountability of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) on behalf of the UK taxpayer, by examining whether UK aid is delivering value for money.
We work closely with the International Development Committee, to which we report. When we publish a report, the government is required to publish a management response setting out how it will respond to our recommendations. The International Development Committee’s Sub-committee on ICAI then holds an evidence session on the report. Members question us on our findings and then DFID officials on their response to what we have found.
Our reviews cover a broad cross-section of programmes and issues affecting the delivery of UK aid. We focus our work on the most relevant challenges facing UK aid and issues of interest to parliament and the UK public.
ICAI’s mandate covers all UK ODA, whichever department spends it. Alongside the Department for International Development, our reviews cover ODA-spending departments such as the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We also look at ODA-related interdepartmental funds such as the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and the International Climate Fund.
Our mandate does not cover aid spent by the devolved Scottish and Welsh governments.
ICAI operates on the basis of the following core values:
- Accountability: we conduct our work with objectivity and impartiality, assisting the IDC to hold DFID to account for the effectiveness of UK aid. We are also accountable to the IDC for our performance.
- Feedback and learning: we believe that to do our job well, accountability must go hand-in-hand with learning. Building effective feedback loops into our review process will be critical to our work.
- Analytical rigour: we are committed to the rigorous use of evidence and analysis in our reviews. ICAI reports rely primarily on existing sources of evidence, supplemented or tested through additional empirical research as appropriate.
- Accessibility: we design and deliver reviews with a clear purpose and audience in mind.
- Transparency: we are committed to transparency in our approach to reviews, including in the way we use and present data and evidence.
Who we are
The ICAI Commissioners are Dr Alison Evans, Tina Fahm, and Richard Gledhill. They are in post for a four year term beginning on 1 July 2015.
ICAI is supported by a small secretariat based in London.
ICAI has appointed a service provider to carry out work on its behalf. This work is led by Agulhas Applied Knowledge, a specialist international development consultancy. Agulhas is joined by Integrity, a development consultancy which specialises in working in complex environments, and by Ecorys, an international company providing research, consultancy and management services.