ICAI Chief Commissioner at the International Development Committee

17 Jan 2024

ICAI’s Chief Commissioner, Dr Tamsyn Barton, gave evidence to the International Development Committee yesterday (16 January) on our review looking across the last four years of scrutinising UK aid.

UK aid under pressure: A synthesis of ICAI findings from 2019 to 2023 draws upon review findings on the state of UK aid across those four years alongside additional interviews and documentary analysis, covering the challenging global and domestic contexts within which UK aid has been deployed.

It found that while the period was a challenging one due to many external factors such as Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, this was compounded by frequent changes of political leadership and the government’s own decisions to combine two departments and drastically and unpredictably reduce the budget, including diverting 29% to the support of refugees in the UK in 2022.

Dr Barton gave evidence to the committee on a range of themes from the review, including: the impact of aid budget reductions; progress on gender equality; the merger between the Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO); transparency in UK aid; progress in the delivery of the UK’s climate commitments; responsiveness of UK aid to conflict-affected settings; and ensuring the future integrity of ICAI’s independent scrutiny, such as whether it could be put on a statutory footing.

Watch the full evidence session here.

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