UK Aid Spent by Departments Other Than DFID

Around 13% of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) is spent by departments other than DFID. Our preliminary investigation maps spending and examines activities.

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20 Feb 2015
Lead commissioner
Graham Ward CBE
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Terms of Reference - A preliminary investigation of Official Development Assistance (ODA) spent by departments other than DFID

UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spent by departments other than DFID  reached £1.4 billion in 2013 – an increase of £472 million since 2009. Most of this increase came from the establishment of the International Climate Fund and the expansion of the Conflict Pool.

During this period of rapid scale-up, some – including the International Development Committee – expressed concern that there might be a major increase in non-DFID ODA, to help reach the target, and that this might lead to inappropriate activities being included in the UK aid programme. There is relatively little information on non-DFID ODA in the public domain and this has contributed to stakeholders’ concerns.

During the period of rapid scaling up of UK aid, aid spending by departments other than DFID has increased, but the proportion in total UK ODA remains the same at around 13%. We did not find any evidence that the UK has weakened its ODA reporting practices, or that inappropriate activities are being reported as ODA.

Our report looked at £140 million of 2013 ODA spent across eight departments. The activities we examined were all found to be ODA-eligible and appropriate to the UK aid programme.

Data on non-DFID ODA 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.


DFID should include a more complete explanation of the main categories of ODA spent by other government department in its Statistics on International Development report to enhance transparency.