DFID’s approach to managing fiduciary risk in conflict-affected environments

Effective management of fiduciary risk is key to achieving value for money and ensuring that UK aid makes maximum impact.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 9 August 2016
  3. Type: Performance review
  4. Subject: Anti-corruption, tax avoidance and fiduciary risk, Fragile states
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Location: Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen
  7. Lead commissioner: Alison Evans

Read the approach paper

Our approach

This performance review assesses Department for International Development’s (DFID) approach to fiduciary risk management in conflict-affected environments where DFID has restricted access.

The review explored how DFID assesses and manages fiduciary risk at the corporate, country and project level and how it balances fiduciary risks against the potential opportunities and benefits of delivering assistance in challenging environments. It explored what it means for DFID to have ‘a high risk appetite when it comes to taking risks to achieve [its] key targets’ while also bearing in mind the extreme challenges of working in hostile environments.

The review also looked at how these challenges fit with DFID’s assertion that it has ‘zero tolerance to fraud and corruption’. These issues are examined within the context of the evolution of DFID’s overall approach to risk management in recent years, to assess the extent to which lessons have been learned and applied.

Review questions

  1. Effectiveness: How effectively does DFID identify and assess fiduciary risk in conflict-affected environments at country portfolio, individual project delivery and partner levels?
  2. Efficiency: How efficiently does DFID mitigate risk in its programme designs and choice of delivery channels?
  3. Effectiveness: How effectively does DFID monitor residual risk through the programme lifecycle?
  4. Effectiveness: To what extent does DFID make clear and defensible choices as to what types and levels of fiduciary risk to tolerate in its programming?
  5. Learning: How effectively is DFID capturing and applying learning in the development of its systems and processes for fiduciary risk management in conflict-affected environments?



Published 15 February 2016

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 9 August 2016

Government response

Published 12 September 2016

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 19 October 2016

ICAI follow-up

Published 21 June 2017