DFID’s oversight of the EU’s aid to low-income countries

The EU is the world’s second-largest aid donor. In this review of DFID’s oversight of the UK’s contributions to EU aid – around £1.4 billion a year, 16% of DFID’s total aid spending – we have focused on the impact of EU aid in low-income countries.

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 11 December 2012
  3. Type: Other
  4. Subject: Multilateral spend
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Mozambique, Tajikistan, Uganda
  7. Lead commissioner: John Githongo

Read the inception report

Read the terms of reference

Our approach

This review set out to assess the effectiveness of DFID’s oversight of the UK contributions to the EU, focusing on development assistance to low-income countries, in order to maximise impact for the intended beneficiaries and value for money for the UK taxpayer. The report focused on the impact of EU aid on the ground in low-income countries through three case studies: Mozambique, Tajikistan and Uganda.

Key considerations were as follows:

  • in line with our mandate, we focused on DFID’s oversight of the EU’s development assistance and not on the Commission’s own performance;
  • we used findings from existing studies and research to inform our review of the central relationship between DFID in the UK and the European Commission in Brussels and conducted a relatively light-touch review of this ourselves;
  • the emphasis was on the effectiveness and impact of the UK contributions on the ground through a sample of case study countries with different characteristics; and
  • we focused our work on DFID’s co-operation with the Commission, particularly in the case study countries in order to identify whether the programmes complement one another, whether there is overlap, duplication, inconsistency or gaps.


Review publication

Published 11 December 2012

Government response

Published 8 May 2013

ICAI follow-up

Published 12 June 2014