Independent Commission for Aid Impact publishes reports on DFID’s Health Programmes in Burma and Support to Capital Projects in Montserrat

16 Jul 2013

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has today published two reports on:

DFID’s Health Programmes in Burma; and

DFID’s Support to Capital Projects in Montserrat.

ICAI has rated the Burma programmes as Green and the support to Montserrat projects as Amber-Red.

DFIDs Health Programmes in Burma

The overall rating for the programmes we examined is Green. Burma (also known as Myanmar) is a fragile state and one of the poorest states in Asia. The UK is the largest international donor to Burma. DFID has designed and delivered an appropriate health aid programme in a country where there is significant health need and where there are significant challenges of access and capacity.

DFID has demonstrated clear leadership in working well with intended beneficiaries, other donors, delivery partners and the Government of Burma’s Ministry of Health. The health programmes have addressed many health needs, although demonstrating the impact of DFID’s health programmes has been difficult given the lack of good data in Burma.

The intended beneficiaries that we met in Burma, including people living in the Irrawaddy Delta and intravenous drug users suffering from HIV/AIDS, supported the view that the programmes have had a positive impact.

The lifting of sanctions and a changing political environment present significant opportunities for DFID Burma to have more impact in addressing the health needs of the Burmese people. We have made recommendations on how DFID’s programmes should respond in order to build on the successes to date.

Graham Ward, ICAI Chief Commissioner, said: ‘We have found that DFID’s health programmes in Burma are well considered, in the face of a challenging environment, with a real prospect of sustainable outcomes.  We commend DFID Burma for its leadership in driving forward health programmes and their work with the Government of Burma during a difficult period.’

DFIDs Support to Capital Projects in Montserrat 

The overall rating for the programmes we examined is Amber-Red.  Since the devastation caused by volcanic eruptions which began in 1995, Montserrat has been unable to return to self-sufficiency. DFID and the citizens of Montserrat have achieved much in averting a complete evacuation from the island and establishing lives away from the volcano.  Positive impact for beneficiaries has been achieved.

While continuing to meet basic needs, DFID’s approach in Montserrat has changed to include a greater focus on improving economic development. DFID does not, however, have a firm view on what Montserrat’s reasonable needs are, nor what self-sufficiency means for the island; what is affordable to UK and Montserrat taxpayers; and how best to move towards self-sufficiency strategically and affordably over the long-term.

Graham Ward, ICAI Chief Commissioner, said: ‘Although we saw evidence of good and necessary assistance to fund basic investment on Montserrat, we found that DFID needs to support the Government of Montserrat to develop a longer-term plan for the island to move towards economic, financially justifiable self-sufficiency.’


Notes to editors:

For further information please contact Sam Harrison on 020 7270 6742 or The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) is the independent body responsible for scrutinising UK aid. We focus on maximising the effectiveness of the UK aid budget for intended beneficiaries and on delivering value for money for UK taxpayers. For further details on ICAI, the workplan and for links to each report please visit

ICAI’s Chief Commissioner is Graham Ward CBE. The three other Commissioners are: Mark Foster, John Githongo and Diana Good. Their biographies can be found on the ICAI website.

These reports were prepared by ICAI with the assistance of KPMG LLP, Agulhas Applied Knowledge, Center of Evaluation for Global Action (CEGA) and the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU International).

ICAI reports are written to be accessible to a general readership and we use a simple ‘traffic light’ system to report our judgement on each programme or topic we review, as follows:


I.          Green: The programme performs well overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Some improvements are needed.

II.         Green-Amber: The programme performs relatively well overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Improvements should be made.

III.        Amber-Red: The programme performs relatively poorly overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Significant improvements should be made.

IV.        Red: The programme performs poorly overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Immediate and major changes need to be made.



Sign up to our newsletter to receive notifications of our latest news and reports

ICAI will use your personal data only to contact you about our work via email(Required)
You can find more information in our Privacy notice. Please check your Junk folder for a verification email to confirm your subscription.