4 DFID's relationship with foundations|
How DFID works with foundations
58. DFID says that it "recognises the significant
contribution of private foundations and individuals to development",
and expects to increase its engagement over the coming years,
especially where "there are mutual benefits to such collaboration".
It estimates that, at both policy and delivery level, there has
been "significant engagement by DFID" with around 25
foundations in the last five years.
The Department says that it manages its relationships with private
foundations "at a range of levels" within the Department,
including through its London and East Kilbride headquarters and
through its country programmes.
THE GATES FOUNDATION
59. The Department says its most significant engagement
is with the Gates Foundation, with whom it has collaborated over
the last ten years on a wide range of projects and programmes,
especially those in the health, agriculture, financial services
and sanitation sectors. The DFID-Gates relationship has involved
working together on global advocacy for international development
issues, such as partnering with the UK's G8 Presidency on Africa
in 2005, and launching a new push for Polio Eradication with the
UK Prime Minister in January 2011.
60. Collaboration has also taken place on specific
programmatic and research issues (see Table 1).
Table 1: Examples
of collaboration between DFID and Gates Foundation in the health
|Name of project/programme
|Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI)
||Multi-donor fund. UK Government, followed by the Gates Foundation, were the largest contributors to the June 2011 replenishment.
|Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
||Multi-donor fund. Both the UK and Gates are significant financial supporters.
|Roll Back Malaria Partnership's Global Malaria Action Plan
||Multi-stakeholder initiatives. Both DFID and Gates have played instrumental roles.
|Global Polio Eradication Initiative
||Multi-donor health partnership. Partly due to DFID and Gates, the current three-year strategy includes an explicit focus on routine immunisation, improved governance and innovative financing.
|Product Development Partnerships
||DFID and Gates co-finance a number of these to develop tools to prevent and treat infectious diseases.
|Technology Programme for Branchless Banking (TPBB)
||In 2010, DFID provided £8 million over 4 years to the TPBB, which until then had been funded by the Gates Foundation and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor.
|Easy Paisa||Gates and DFID have collaborated on this mobile banking project in Pakistan.
|Financial Sector Deepening Trust, Kenya
||Originally set up with DFID support, the Gates Foundation is now supporting the Trust.
|Three programmes ||Programmes cover covering livestock, veterinary medicines and sustainable crop production. See body of report for details.
|Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
|Collaboration on range of projects
||For example, both agencies fund Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, along with other donors.
|India - HIV/AIDS||Government of India's National AIDS Control Programme III: DFID is co-funding this programme (£120m 2007-12) with Gates
|DFID: Bihar, India
||Close co-ordination on DFID's programme to avoid duplication
|Country-level work in African countries
||"Frequent partnership" in areas including HIV/AIDS, polio, governance, agriculture and rural finance.
Source: Ev 35-38 and ev 54-61
61. An example of how the relationship has worked
in practice is the collaboration between DFID's Agriculture Research
Team and the Gates Foundation on three programmes, covering livestock,
veterinary medicines and sustainable crop production. DFID told
us "the significance of the partnership is reflected in the
commitments" (£46.2 million from DFID and US$150 million
from the Gates Foundation over seven years to 2015). It said that
the partnership had already generated "high quality research
products". The Department said that the collaboration with
DFID's Agriculture Research Team "minimises transaction costs,
significantly expanding its portfolio of research programmes,
gaining greater access to technological expertise, private sector
linkages, and their programme management and monitoring and evaluation
62. As we discussed in Chapter 3, critics of large
foundations such as Gates point to the risk of creating parallel
structures and skewing the priorities of other donors and importantly,
recipient governments. Both DFID and Gates denied this was currently
a problem. The DFID Minister said Gates' support to GAVI, for
example, "complements and supplements and does not displace".
The Gates Foundation gave examples of the measures it took to
work collaboratively with governments rather than setting up new
63. The Gates Foundation told us, "We have a
good relationship with DFID". They emphasised the frequent
contact between the two agencies, with Jeff Raikes calling it
"a regular relationship, with regular interaction. Many of
our staff will be in contact as regularly as weekly."
The Foundation told us that it and DFID had now "identified
contact points to co-ordinate the relationships between our organisations".
64. It is important that large bodies such as
the Gates Foundation do not create parallel structures or skew
the priorities of other donors and importantly, recipient governments.
Both DFID and Gates denied that either of these risks pose a current
problem. Based on the evidence we received, we agree. However,
as foundations continue to grow in size and influence, this is
a situation that needs watching.
65. Gates' experience of regular contact with DFID
was not shared by smaller, UK-based foundations. The Baring Foundation
said DFID "has tended to concentrate on relationships with
the largest funders such as the Gates Foundation, the Wellcome
Trust and Comic Relief".
The Children's Investment
Fund Foundation (CIFF), whilst in many ways highly complimentary
about DFID as an organisation,
highlighted a problem raised by a number of other foundations:
the availability of DFID staff time to engage with them. They
Navigating DFID has been difficult, especially
given the changes DFID itself has gone through in the last couple
of years [...] Their own internal capacity, given those internal
management reorganisations, to engage externally has been a little
compromised. The lack of staff on some of the areas now is beginning
to show. [...] DFID has very sophisticated partnership modalities
with NGOs and partners. I think it is probably with the newer
beasts like the private foundations that it is a little bit more
challenging than for some of the traditional members.
Sarah Lock, Co-convenor of the Association of Charitable
Foundations' International Development Issues-Based Network, said
We have had Ministers come to talk to us. At
the ministerial level, there seems to be quite a lot of interest
in liaison with foundations but, at the civil servant level, particularly
when everyone is very stretched at the moment, that is not following
The Nuffield Foundation agreed, saying
There is at present little liaison between DFID
and the mid-sized Foundations. We believe that both sides would
gain from better contact. For example, most Foundations do not
have an in-country presence and could benefit greatly from DFID's
technical expertise. Similarly, DFID could find reports from work
that the Foundations are funding of interest.
Nuffield suggested that DFID "explore with a
wider group of private foundations how they might share information
about their respective work and plans".
The Baring Foundation said information-sharing could include:
DFID advice on in-country needs; details of what DFID is already
supporting within countries; and co-funding opportunities such
as 'pots' for specific issues.
Christian Aid agreed, saying
that co-ordination with UK foundations is "ad hoc" and
would benefit from the formation of a collective group among larger
foundations. They said "This would help to prevent duplication
but would also promote learning, best practice, emerging issues
and greater understanding of dangers and threats".
This kind of role is currently undertaken by the Association of
Charitable Foundations' International Development Issue-Based
66. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green said that "many
foundations and businesses feel that the door to the UK government
is closed and that partnership opportunities are being missed
because of the continued focus of DFID on working primarily with
other official donors. This needs to change."
Some UN agencies and bilateral donors such as USAID have opened
'partnership offices' to facilitate joint working with private
actors such as foundations.
67. Ian Curtis, Head of DFID's Global Partnerships
Department, said he "took the point on smaller foundations"
and "recognised that [engagement] might be an issue".
He offered to organise an annual roundtable meeting for a group
of smaller foundations. The Minister said he would "happily
attend" such an event.
However, the Minister was cautious about what DFID could realistically
offer smaller foundations, saying
Any foundation can have access to us and officials
will always be available to talk to them, but as their scale gets
larger so their importance for us will grow [
] We have to
rank them a bit and have an evaluation process in respect of how
useful they are going to be.
68. DFID's relationship with foundations appears
to be somewhat ad hoc. The Gates Foundation spoke of having
an identified contact in the Department, and of interaction on
a weekly basis. Meanwhile, smaller foundations held a widely-shared
view that it was difficult to have any kind of regular contact
with DFID staff. We recommend the Department become more outward-facing
in its approach to foundations, although we accept that DFID officials
cannot meet regularly all the foundations that would like to meet
with them. DFID has responded to our concerns and the Minister
has offered to offer to host an annual meeting of a collective
group of smaller foundations. We recommend that, in addition to
the Minister-hosted annual event, DFID officials host meetings
with foundations at more frequent intervals (at least bi-annually
or even quarterly). We recommend that DFID identify a named contact
point, probably within its Private Sector Department or Global
Partnerships Department, with whom all foundationslarge
or smallcan engage on a regular basis.
DFID'S FUNDING RELATIONSHIP WITH
69. DFID told us that it did not normally provide
funding directly to Foundations, but that funding arrangements
were normally on the basis of co-funding programmes with
DFID currently provides funding of over £2.3
billion, alongside other donors, on programmes with the involvement
of, and investment from, private foundations. GAVI is
the largest, with £1.5 billion from DFID (2011-2015), £2.3
billion from 19 further sovereign donors and four private contributions
(including La Caixa Foundation), and £0.86 billion
from Gates. Besides GAVI, DFID has committed over £250 million
to programmes in collaboration with other private foundations
(including £13.9 million so far agreed for the Girl Hub with
Nike and over £200 million for the Global Partnership for
Education, on whose board the Hewlett Foundation sit, for example).
These are figures for current commitments and
do not include upcoming agreements which are still being developed
and have not had funding amounts confirmed yet, or programme payments
which have now been fully disbursed.
70. A UK-based foundation, The Wood Family Trust,
told us that it thought DFID should do more to make funding opportunities
for smaller foundations available. It said it had held "preliminary
discussions" with DFID about the possibility of getting Departmental
funding for the Trust's work with smallholder tea farmers in Tanzania
and Rwanda, but that "frankly, we could not marry that into
the kind of structure that DFID works with". The Trust said
it had "accepted the understandable regulations, restrictions
and constraints that [DFID] works under as a Government body"
but expressed frustration that they had not been able "to
get that model" that would facilitate a funding partnership
The Nuffield Foundation shared this perspective, saying "DFID
should explore collaborative funding opportunities with foundationsparticularly
where foundations have the human resources to manage funding too
small for DFID to administer."The DFID Minister said
in response that "We have to abide by our standards, which
are strictly laid down, of course, in terms of auditing, [
of evaluation of impact and value for money".
However, he said that "that does not mean that we are not
flexible" and was especially interested in working more with
entrepreneurs and business-minded foundations, saying that "an
entrepreneur may know how to [open up markets] in a way that we,
as DFID, might not do ourselves".
71. Over the course of the inquiry we heard from
several UK-based foundationsincluding those with considerable
expertise in areas in which DFID is seeking to work more (for
example, private sector development)that they do not think
there are sufficient opportunities for DFID and foundations to
co-operate over funding. Funding co-operation between DFID and
foundations could be mutually beneficial, bringing business expertise
into DFID and helping transfer development-specific knowledge
to foundations. Foundations may also have the human resources
to manage funding too small for DFID to administer. We recommend
that our suggested new contact point within DFID produce a simple
publication indicating what DFID funding streams foundations might
apply for and how to apply.
Working with foundations based
in developing countries
72. As the Omidyar Network emphasised to us, it is
important that the growing number of developing country-based
foundations should also be included in DFID's attempts to improve
its outreach to the philanthropy sector.
As we said in Chapter One, developing countries are witnessing
the rise of foundations and philanthropists, as is evidenced by
the formation of 'philanthropic trade associations' such as the
Africa Grantmakers Network.
However, as the World Bank informed us, most developing country-based
foundations are small.
In its written evidence, DFID admitted that its "engagement
with foundations on the ground in Africa has mainly been with
"western" based foundations working in Africa, based
on the relationships around common interests at country level."
However, it recognised that "the new African foundations
are playing an increasing role in development." It said it
would be engaging with these foundations at a roundtable event
organised by Business Action for Africa in late November 2011.
The Department also said it had held an initial meeting with AFFORD,
the Africa Foundation for Development.
73. At the 25 October evidence session, David McNair
of Christian Aid suggested that DFID help co-ordinate philanthropy,
including the work of foundations, through its country offices.
He suggested DFID could follow the example of the Government of
Liberia's 'philanthropy secretariat', which "engages with
philanthropists on the kinds of decisions that they are making
and tries to co-ordinate that at the country level".
Michael Bishop and Michael Green agreed, suggesting that DFID
country offices should map out local and diaspora donors, particularly
in countries such as India, Nigeria and Pakistan.
74. The number of foundations based in developing
countries is growing. This is clearly to be welcomed but it means
the number of development actors with whom developing country
governments must engage is also increasing. We recommend that,
as part of its wider efforts to improve aid effectiveness, DFID
ensure that its country offices assist partner governments
co-ordinate foundations and philanthropists seeking opportunities
in the country. Further, DFID is only in the early stages of engaging
with developing country-based foundations. We suggest it increases
its engagement in order to form partnerships with these important
new philanthropic actors.
110 Ev 55 Back
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The Africa Grantmakers Network aims to bring together grantmaking
organisations from all over Africa and to be a platform for African
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