DFID’s Support for Health and Education in India

One third of the world’s poor live in India. This review assesses DFID’s performance in India by looking through the lens of DFID’s work in one state across four health and education programmes.

We looked at four health and education programmes in the state of Bihar. Together, these are budgeted to spend over £180 million between 2010 and 2016.

Educational and health indicators in Bihar are improving. DFID’s assistance is contributing to these improvements, although the degree to which we can attribute positive change to DFID varies between programmes. DFID has a clear idea of how it will make a difference, including being aligned with Indian national and state level initiatives. There is scope for DFID to shift its assistance even further towards those areas where it has most impact, such as the transfer of knowledge and skills. This could improve the value for money of UK involvement.

As a result of our findings this review is marked Green-Amber.


Recommendation 1: Beginning with its work in Bihar in education and health, DFID should clearly identify and monitor what are the particular benefits provided by UK aid in order to focus its activities where it adds most value.

Recommendation 2: DFID should clarify its forward strategy in Bihar to enable delivery partners to plan sustainable programmes for the future.

Recommendation 3: DFID should increase even further the contribution it makes through technical assistance in India, which transfers skills and knowledge, because this is where it adds most value.

Recommendation 4: DFID’s planned anti-corruption strategy should include strengthening ties with local law enforcement bodies and establishing a whistle-blower hotline.