Transparency in UK aid

A rapid review that examines transparency in UK aid and what has been learned about good practice on aid transparency.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 6 October 2022
  3. Type: Rapid review
  4. Subject: Anti-corruption, tax avoidance and fiduciary risk, Government processes and systems, UK aid funds
  5. Lead commissioner: Tarek Rouchdy

Latest news

We have published our rapid review of transparency in UK aid. The government’s response was published in December 2022. ICAI published a follow-up report in May 2024.


Over a period of more than a decade the UK government has introduced a wide range of policies and practices to drive efforts to promote the transparency of UK aid spending. Its importance was emphasised in the 2015 UK aid strategy, which set ambitious transparency standards for all departments managing aid to meet; the 2018 Open aid, open societies transparency strategy, which reaffirmed UK aid transparency standards and committed to publishing all evaluations of UK aid programmes; and the 2021 Integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, which stated a commitment to maintain the highest standards of transparency for all aid investments. A new UK strategy for international development was published as this approach paper was being finalised, which also mentions transparency, accountability and honesty. Across this same period, the UK has championed aid transparency globally.

Given recent changes to the UK’s aid programme, it was an opportune time to review the current state of UK aid transparency standards. It was also valuable to analyse the contribution previous transparency efforts have made to promoting accountability for and effectiveness of this spending.



Published 20 May 2022

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 6 October 2022

Government response

Published 2 December 2022

Further scrutiny

Follow-up published 16 May 2024