DFID's Economic Development Strategy: Government response to the Committee's Sixth Report, Session 17-19

Eighth Special Report

On 17 July 2018, the International Development Committee published its Sixth Report of Session 2017–19, on DFID’s Economic Development Strategy (HC 941). The Government response was received on 27 September 2018. The response is appended below.

Appendix: Government Response to DFID’s Economic Development Strategy

DFID welcomes the opportunity to respond to the first direct parliamentary scrutiny of DFID’s Economic Development Strategy. The Committee’s report is timely. As the Prime Minister set out during her recent trip to Africa, the UK is committed to building deeper economic partnerships with developing countries. Consistent with the Economic Development Strategy, the Prime Minister set out the UK’s commitment to accelerating the inclusive growth needed to lift countries out of poverty for good, and how a focus on mutual prosperity creates opportunities for both the UK and developing countries.

DFID welcomes the largely positive tone of the report, in particular the Committee’s recognition that the Department has strengthened its economic development expertise, as well as highlighting positive evolution in DFID’s economic development programming and endorsing DFID’s approach in response to recommendations from a number of ICAI reports.

The Strategy

  1. “We look to DFID to ensure that the responses of individual country teams maintain a focus on wealth creation that includes marginalised groups, takes account of sustainable development and generates revenue for national governments to spend in appropriate ways.” (Paragraph 10)

DFID response: Agree

Past criticisms and responses

  1. “ICAI recommended improved DFID monitoring to help the Department to understand the impact of individual programmes on the overall transformation of the economy […] We expect to hear how this approach is evolving, and its impact, when the Department replies to this report and/or in subsequent ICAI follow-up work.” (Paragraph 27)

DFID response: Agree

  1. “We were disappointed to see that there had been little progress on taking account of DFID’s “comparative advantage relative to other development actors” in prioritising interventions.” (Paragraph 41)

DFID response: Partially Agree

  1. “We refer to the partially accepted recommendation above. DFID seemed to accept the importance of striking an appropriate balance between job creation via economic transformation and the development of livelihoods for the poor. However, ICAI had called for central guidance and DFID argued that country offices were best-placed to make their own decisions about the proportions and sequencing of interventions in these areas. We tend to agree with the Department but DFID should test its confidence in country teams with a programme of review and best practice-sharing.” (Paragraph 42)

DFID response: Agree

Published: 11 October 2018