The FCDO’s Programme Operating Framework

A rapid review assessing the effectiveness of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Programme Operating Framework (PrOF) in support of the delivery of aid across FCDO’s diverse portfolio.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 27 April 2023
  3. Type: Rapid review
  4. Subject: Government processes and systems
  5. Lead commissioner: Tarek Rouchdy
  6. SDGs covered:Peace, justice and strong institutions

Read the approach summary paper


This review provided an early opportunity for ICAI to assess the PrOF’s effectiveness in supporting aid delivery across FCDO’s diverse portfolio. It also aimed to support learning in the FCDO, as the department works to refine its programme management approach and integrate systems and staff post-merger.

The review assesses the effectiveness of the PrOF and the extent to which the FCDO has implemented and embedded the PrOF within its operations. It also considers coherence across the UK government, including the alignment of the PrOF with the Government Functional Standard on Project Delivery, which sets out rules and guidelines for portfolio, programme and project delivery that apply to all UK government departments.

Review questions

This review sought to answer the following questions:

  1. Is the PrOF a credible approach for the management of UK aid programmes?
  2. To what extent has the PrOF’s implementation supported the delivery of UK aid across FCDO’s diverse programmes?
  3. How well has the PrOF been adapted since its launch?



Published 2 February 2023

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 27 April 2023

Government response

Published 13 June 2023

Further scrutiny

Follow-up published 16 May 2024