Written evidence submitted by David Hulme






DFID has a hardworking and highly respected set of staff in Bangladesh. However, over the last 5 years I perceive that two problems have arisen (probably due to decisions in London and other factors) that mean that the average DFID officer in Bangladesh has less experience and knowledge of the country (and fewer high quality personal contacts with Bangladeshis) than was the case in the 1990s and early 2000s.


1. I perceive that staff turnover has increased as in my annual visits to DFID Dhaka most of the people I meet are 'new' or 'recent'. I have no data (but I think you should request data on length of stay in Dhaka) but feel that 2 years rather than 3 or more years is the average stay. (If you do get data do not just look at averages - the key criteria is how many staff complete a full third year in Bangladesh).


2. Staff reductions and budget increases mean that the average 'spend per adviser' has increased This means that advisers cannot allocate time to the innovative low spend/high impact initiatives that 'improving governance' programmes often need.




This note is not a criticism of DFID staff but of structures and systems that create turnover and limit innovation.







David Hulme - 22October 2009

University of Manchester