The cross-government Prosperity Fund

The Prosperity Fund needs to continue to improve its systems and processes to support the pace and scale of delivery.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 7 February 2017
  3. Type: Rapid review
  4. Subject: Trade and economic development, UK aid funds
  5. Assessment: Unrated
  6. Lead commissioner: Alison Evans

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Our review concluded the Prosperity Fund needs to continue to improve its systems and processes to support the pace and scale of delivery and goes on to make five recommendations.


Our rapid review of the Prosperity Fund recognises the significant progress which has been made in a short time frame and noted that the Fund’s systems and processes were still being refined.

However we found the Fund was likely to face challenges in meeting both its primary purpose of poverty reduction and its secondary aim of creating opportunities for international business, including UK firms.

The review found the Fund had made improvements in its governance structure, in the short period since it was established. But raised concerns over the speed at which government departments were expected to scale up their aid spending, and said they will need to work hard to design and deliver programmes capable of achieving results.

It calls on the government to look again at the planned rate of expenditure, including considering extending the time period over which the £1.3 billion is due to be spent. It also calls on the Fund to improve its transparency, saying there was too little public information available about its work.


ICAI made a series of recommendations for strengthening the Prosperity Fund:

  1. The government should reconsider the Prosperity Fund’s rate of expenditure, including spending resources over a longer period if necessary.
  2. The Prosperity Fund should refine its strategic objectives, and develop Fund-level results indicators to maximise overall impact, and avoid fragmentation.
  3. The Prosperity Fund should ensure its processes for adhering to international rules on aid are explicit and challenging.
  4. The Prosperity Fund should be more open about its engagement with UK and international companies, ensuring it avoids potential conflict of interests and secures value for money.
  5. The Prosperity Fund should ensure it is fully transparent about its procedures and progress in line with the government’s stance on this issue.


Read the news story



Published 15 November 2016

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 7 February 2017

Government response

Published 22 March 2017

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 6 December 2017

ICAI follow-up

Published 29 June 2018