International Development Committee
A hearing is held by Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) or their ICAI sub-committee for most ICAI reviews.
Approximately one year after we publish our reports, we follow up on the steps the government has taken in response to our recommendations. This process is a key link in the accountability chain, providing Parliament and the public with an account of how well government departments have responded to ICAI reviews.
During our follow-up process, we found there was an inadequate response to this review as FCDO was only able to identify tangible actions in relation to three of the five recommendations. These actions were largely modest in nature and some were not directly motivated by our review. The limited response seems to have been driven by FCDO’s continued stance that it does not have an explicit youth employment strategy, as well as ongoing challenges facing the department, especially from the merger, aid budget reductions and staff changes.
We returned to this review as an outstanding issue in 2023. Overall we found that, despite some good small examples of work in countries to improve the impact of employment-related programming, there remain significant gaps and weaknesses in the government’s response.
We found substantive action had been taken only in relation to recommendation 3, and therefore comprehensive work has not been done to address most of our recommendations. We therefore concluded that FCDO’s response to this review’s overall recommendations is inadequate.
We did not see reason to believe that a further follow-up in 2024 would see further progress, not least because FCDO seems to have no plans to return to DFID’s former leading role in work on economic development and employment.