DFID’s Bilateral Support to Growth and Livelihoods in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of the most difficult places to deliver aid and DFID’s staff work hard under demanding conditions.

ICAI examined the effectiveness of DFID’s bilateral growth and livelihoods projects. We looked in depth at 5 programmes worth £97.7 million between 2006 and 2018.

Our fieldwork provides evidence that a positive difference is being made to the livelihoods of intended beneficiaries in the areas we surveyed. It is not clear, however, how positive impacts will, in all cases, be sustained in the long term. As a result of these findings, we have given a marking of Amber-Red.

We have made three recommendations to support DFID’s future work in Afghanistan:

Recommendation 1: DFID should formally review current and future projects to focus its portfolio more firmly on reducing poverty using evidence-based interventions. This should be completed within six months, using a consultative and evidence-led process.

Recommendation 2: DFID should ensure that intended beneficiaries are, as far as practicable, directly consulted when new projects are being designed, so that their needs are clearly addressed and their ownership is enhanced.

Recommendation 3: DFID should enhance its approach and commitment to independent monitoring in order to assess current and future project performance and to allow it to assess the impact of its programme.