The scale-up of DFID’s support to fragile states

The government has committed to spend 30% of UK aid in fragile states by 2014-15. This report examines the scale-up process.

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 12 February 2015
  3. Type: Other
  4. Subject: Fragile states
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Yemen
  7. Lead commissioner: Mark Foster

Read the inception report

Read the terms of reference

Our approach

The purpose of this review was to consider whether the Department for International Development’s (DFID) additional funds to fragile states has delivered worthwhile additional impact that is likely to be sustained. We examine the strategy and allocation process for scaled-up funds, to review the capability of both DFID country offices and the delivery chain to absorb these funds. We then review the quality of programming of the funds and assess whether the additional funds have achieved additional impact for intended beneficiaries.

Review questions

  1. Was the quantum of scale-up of funds appropriate and justified for each of the countries identified? What evidence base was used to inform DFID choices?
  2. Has DFID’s choice of delivery channels in fragile states ensured capability in absorbing and appropriately spending additional funding at the pace and volumes allocated?
  3. At a country level, does DFID have appropriate strategies and capacity to identify, design and manage effective interventions to achieve results? Is the nature of the selected interventions appropriate to the specific country context?
  4. Have DFID scaled-up programmes made sufficient difference/impact in fragile states?
  5. Has DFID done things differently in fragile states, in a way that has made a difference and reflects its commitments under the Building Stability
  6. Overseas Strategy (BSOS) and, more recently, the Busan 2011 New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States?
  7. Have these adjustments been adequate to tackle challenges specific to fragile state settings effectively?
  8. Does DFID have in place the organisational capacity, including staffing, systems and processes, to spend increased funding, while limiting the risks of corruption and inefficiency?


Review publication

Published 12 February 2015

Government response

Published 5 March 2015

ICAI follow-up

Published 30 June 2016