DFID’s Economic Development Strategy Contents

4Conclusion

57.Minister Bates said:

The more economic growth there is, the fewer people there will be in extreme poverty. That has been the story of the past 20 years.117

Melinda Bohannon, Head of Growth and Resilience explained:

The strategy is about driving inclusive growth, spreading the benefits across society and delivering the SDGs.118

58.We welcome these ideals. We also welcome the listening that DFID has done to Parliament and NGOs in both constructing this strategy and in modifying and improving it since its publication. We particularly welcome the changes that are being made to the country diagnostic tools currently being piloted to help inform the individual country plans for example including a greater emphasis on climate change. One area that we would like to continue to monitor is how DFID users the different levers it has to improve economic development - CDC, bilateral country programmes and centrally managed programmes - to work together for optimum impact. We are yet to be convinced of a seamless joint approach. Our concerns about the Economic Development Strategy are similar to concerns we raised in our recent report, Definition and administration of ODA, about the Prosperity Fund - namely, an insufficient focus on poverty reduction and on helping the very poorest and most vulnerable. Although the Secretary of State refers to the “boost” in trade and investment with developing countries as “a clear ‘win-win’ for Britain and the world’s poorest”119 ICAI have highlighted that economic growth produces winners and losers.120 It is acceptable for UK companies and the UK government to have ‘wins’ in trade and investment with least developed countries as long as it can be guaranteed that the most marginalised in developing countries do not become the resulting ‘losers’.


117 Q31

118 Q34

120 Oral evidence taken on 7 February 2018, HC (2017-19) 727, Q1




Published: 17 July 2018