The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund’s aid spending

Shortcomings in aid programmes delivered as part of the government’s CSSF are undermining its contribution to building peace, stability and security.

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 29 March 2018
  3. Type: Performance review
  4. Subject: Fragile states, Peace, security and justice, UK aid funds
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Burkina Faso, Chad, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Mali, Niger, Pakistan
  7. Lead commissioner: Richard Gledhill
  8. SDGs covered:Peace, justice and strong institutions

Read the approach paper

Our approach

The CSSF was established in April 2015, as the latest in a series of cross-government conflict prevention funds that stretch back to 2001. Its initial annual budget of £1 billion is set to rise to £1.3 billion by 2020-21. This review only looks at the CSSF’s aid programming expenditure, which in its first two years of operation amounted to £353 and £460 million (or 34% and 41% of the CSSF’s total spending).

The CSSF is a relatively new instrument that began operations in 2015. It builds on the work of a predecessor fund, the Conflict Pool, which operated from 2001 and was reviewed by ICAI in July 2012.

ICAI assessed whether the CSSF took a relevant and evidence-based approach to spending ODA on addressing conflict, instability and insecurity, whether its programming was likely to be effective, and how well it was learning from the available evidence and its own experience. The review is limited to ODA-funded work only and will not consider how any other means of funding is used.



Published 14 August 2017

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 29 March 2018

Government response

Published 10 May 2018

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 20 June 2018

ICAI follow-up

Published 18 July 2019