Independent Commission for Aid Impact publishes report: Official Development Assistance spent by Departments other than DFID

20 Feb 2015

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published a report today, on Official Development Assistance (ODA) spent by Government Departments other than the Department for International Development (DFID).

Our report responds to concerns that, as the Government fulfills its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, the share spent by departments other than DFID, might increase and that quality and focus of UK aid might be compromised.

We found that the scaling up of UK aid has not led to a disproportionate increase in non-DFID ODA, nor has it led to any overall loss of pro-poor focus to UK aid. The activities we examined are all ODA eligible and appropriate to the UK aid programme.

Over the past five years, UK ODA expenditure has nearly doubled, reaching £11.5 billion in 2013. Through this period of rapid scaling up, the share of non-DFID ODA has remained relatively constant, within the range of 10-13% of the total. Non-DFID ODA reached £1.4 billion in 2013 – an increase of £472 million since 2009.

Graham Ward, ICAI Chief Commissioner, said: “UK ODA data is published in various forms. There is no single place where the public can find a clear explanation of the amounts and objectives of non-DFID ODA. This has contributed to concerns that inappropriate projects were being classed as UK ODA, although we have not found this to be the case”.

We made one recommendation:

DFID should request ODA-spending departments to accompany their annual ODA returns to DFID with an information note describing, in simple terms, the main activities or types of activity claimed as ODA. DFID should include this information in an annex to its Statistics on International Development in order to enhance transparency.


Notes to editors:

This is not a full ICAI review. Given the limited remit of this investigation, we have not formulated a rating against our standard review framework

Our scope covers £140 million of 2013 ODA spent by eight departments. We examined whether their objectives were clear and appropriate for the UK aid programme and whether management systems were in place to ensure effective delivery and to measure results.

Non-DFID ODA reached £1.3 billion in 2013 – an increase of £472 million since 2009. Most of this increase came from the establishment of the International Climate Fund and expansion of the Conflict Pool – both of which have been reviewed by ICAI separately.


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