Work begins on new reviews

5 Aug 2015

ICAI has begun work on two new reviews: a learning review of DFID’s efforts to eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls; and an impact review of the results of DFID’s funding of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes. We expect to publish our findings in Spring 2016. For more information on these reviews, please contact the ICAI team.

Our reviews follow three different formats:

  • Performance reviews look in depth at the quality of an aspect of UK aid programming or DFID’s organisational effectiveness and performance. These reviews look at the quality of design and implementation of aid programmes and their emerging results. They may also include reviews of DFID’s use of particular aid instruments and channels and of DFID’s fitness for purpose as an organisation in different areas.
  • Impact reviews examine what has been achieved by a particular aid programme or portfolio. Impact reviews seek to test the validity of results claimed by DFID. These reviews will start by verifying the results data that DFID’s own programmes have generated including from DFID’s own impact evaluations.
  • Learning reviews look at new or emerging areas of the aid programme or DFID’s response to a particular recent challenge. Learning reviews are real-time views of relatively new and untested areas of the aid programme, conducted to take a snap shot of their efficiency and effectiveness and inform their continuing development.

A Learning Review of DFID’s efforts to eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls

Addressing violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a development goal in its own right and also is recognised as a precondition to achieving other development outcomes.  The UK Government has made it a priority to address this, and, since 2012, DFID has significantly scaled up its VAWG programming including a greater emphasis on prevention and long-term multi-sectoral approaches.

The purpose of the review is to assess how well DFID has responded to the UK Government’s commitment to tackle violence against women and girls.  We will review the quality of DFID’s efforts to build a portfolio of relevant and coherent programmes, and to develop an evidence base on what works so as to inform future programme development.  The review will consider the evidence as to what scale, intensity and duration of interventions are required to change social norms and behaviours, and whether DFID’s VAWG portfolio corresponds to that level of ambition.

The review will cover DFID’s VAWG-focused programmes as well as those with a substantial VAWG component, and the development of the portfolio as a whole, between 2010 and 2015.  It will also assess DFID’s international advocacy in this area and its collaboration with partners in the UK and abroad.

This review will not cover DFID’s humanitarian response work which is being reviewed separately by a House of Lords inquiry.

The results of DFID’s funding in the area of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) – UK Aid’s Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals

We have decided to undertake an impact review of DFID global contribution on water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH). This review will test the validity of DFID’s global results claims. DFID set itself an ambitious target of reaching 60 million people with WASH interventions by December 2015. According to its 2014-15 annual report DFID reported to have exceeded this target and reached 62.9 million.

In addition to being one of the Sustainable Development Goals, WASH interlinks with other goals, such as child mortality, nutrition, gender equality and poverty reduction.  DFID’s reported financial contribution in this area is significant, at over £120 million per year. DFID claims to have made significant technical contribution in the sector through its support to knowledge, research and innovations in policy and programming. The main areas of WASH interventions are in water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion.

In March 2012, DFID undertook a portfolio review of its WASH programming, assessing the evidence base and recommending tailored approaches and financing models addressing different drivers of demand for water supply. It also recommended a number of actions to maximise value for money, such as more systematic monitoring and reporting and improved integration between health and WASH programmes. This review provides a timely opportunity to test how well DFID has responded to these recommendations.


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