DFID’s work on disability–inclusive development Contents

Cross-departmental ODA spending

178.We received evidence raising concerns about the inability to track disability inclusion in projects managed by other government departments. IDS highlighted:

How far ODA spent by OGDs is aligned with the UKAid Strategy more generally, in addition to disability specifically, is less than clear. Dispersal of ODA funds across OGDs is set to continue and DFID should seek to support OGDs in relation to ensuring their ODA spending is transparent, focused on poverty reduction more broadly, and is inclusive of disability more specifically. In this context, DFID should consider extending their disability inclusion standards across those OGDs and also define a deliverable around improving the levels of disability-focused spending and programming by these departments.231

179.RESULTS UK raised concerns that:

We have not found any evidence to show that other governments have increased the work they are doing on disability since the IDC’s 2014 inquiry. As ODA spend by other government departments increases, this issue becomes increasingly important.232

180.VSO suggested that there are greater benefits both at home and abroad if work is synchronised across government departments. There is a specific opportunity that could be capitalised on through ODA spend:

We would also recommend that DFID work more holistically across government to ensure policy coherence on issues relating to inclusion and disability. We have, for example faced challenges in ensuring that young people receiving housing benefit and living in supported housing are able to participate in the International Citizen Service programme, as they would lose access to their housing if they volunteered overseas for 3 months. There could also be greater collaboration with the Home Office—as a small example a recent application for a visa for a Kenyan sign language interpreter accompanying a Kenyan deaf volunteer to the UK to attend an awards ceremony was rejected despite the lack of availability of Kenyan sign language interpreters in the UK.233

181.Giving evidence to this committee, Lord Bates gave the following view on the coherence across ODA-spending departments on disability inclusion:

There are areas that we could look at to see if we could do more. We can certainly reflect on that question to see if we can come up with some other structure to ensure that all ODA-spending Departments are following the high standards that DFID has set.234

182.Gerard Howe from DFID gave further evidence to this committee that, in terms of data on disability inclusion in their ODA projects, other government departments:

do not systematically share that data with DFID. The only additional point I would make is that the helpdesk we have established is also available to colleagues across Government, so we are encouraging colleagues to approach the helpdesk with the questions they might have on how to ensure their spend is disability inclusive.235

Baroness Sugg added:

We are also encouraging them to start using the marker, so we can properly track what they are doing, but there is not that automatic report at the moment and we need to work on that.236

And on whether other departments are required to apply the minimum standards, Baroness Sugg said:

No they do not. This is for the DFID business units, but that is a very good point. I am sure we have shared it with other Government Departments, but that is something we should be encouraging them to do.237

183.DFID should develop a systematic way of informing and evaluating disability inclusion in projects overseen by other ODA-spending departments, to ensure the UK is meeting its commitment under the CRPD. All ODA-spending departments should use the OECD DAC disability policy marker to measure and monitor progress towards inclusion. ODA spent outside DFID must be to the same standards for disability inclusion as applied to DFID’s projects and programmes. In particular, ODA spent outside DFID should be designed to strictly avoid creating or exacerbating barriers and segregation of persons with disabilities. DFID as the department responsible for reporting on all ODA-spending should develop a mechanism to ensure all ODA-spending is compliant with the DAC disability policy marker.

231 Institute of Development Studies (DWD0027), p. 4

232 RESULTS UK (DWD0014), p. 3

233 VSO (DWD0026), p. 3

236 Ibid.

Published: 30 July 2019