New ICAI reviews announced
A country portfolio review of UK aid in India, an information note on UK aid’s changing approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and an information note on the Blue Planet Fund, are among the areas of UK aid spending that will be scrutinised by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) in its upcoming reviews.
ICAI has agreed with Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) that it will examine and report on the following areas of UK aid spend:
- Country portfolio review: India, which will assess UK investment in a transitioning economy and a priority of the Integrated Review’s focus on ‘Indo-Pacific’ countries.
- UK aid’s changing approach to WASH, an information note that will examine the change in focus and expenditure on WASH programmes since 2016, including in the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Blue Planet Fund, an information note examining the growing focus for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to support Small Island Developing States to reduce poverty and protect their marine resources.
- Agriculture, a full review exploring support for building resilient agriculture, a key UK COP26 priority, including research and technology to improve food security and climate adaptation. The review will build on ICAI’s 2013 review of DFID’s support to agricultural research.
- Transparency in UK aid, a rapid review to evaluate how the new government structures handle transparency commitments and to support the public’s understanding of how and why the government releases aid data, its accessibility, and how it can be used.
- UK aid’s support to refugees in the UK, a rapid review to assess how effectively the Home Office manages its official development assistance (ODA) spending on supporting refugees and in relation to refugee assistance programmes.
- UK aid for trade, a full review focused on the extent to which ODA has succeeded in supporting low and middle-income countries to seize trade opportunities, which will build on the ICAI review on the use of UK aid to enhance mutual prosperity.
- The Programme Operating Framework for aid in FCDO, a rapid review of the revised rules in the new department, including the structures and governance of decision making on aid programmes, building on ICAI’s previous rapid review of DFID’s Smart Rules.
The new reviews, which are due to be completed between now and 2023, have been added to ICAI’s existing workplan, which includes upcoming reviews looking at the UK’s approach to safeguarding in the humanitarian sector, the UK’s support to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), and the UK’s humanitarian response to COVID-19.
ICAI will also carry out its annual follow up review, assessing government progress on addressing ICAI’s recommendations from previous years’ reviews. Following a commitment to do so in 2021, the 2022 follow up review will also reassess reviews followed up on in 2021, after finding that progress on all three reviews was inadequate.