Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Contents

1Introduction

1.The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) is a pot of money that the Government spends on tackling the causes and effects of conflict and instability in countries of strategic importance to the United Kingdom. It was launched in April 2015 to deliver a “new, more strategic approach to [the UK’s] work in conflict-affected states”.1 And it is described by the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 as a major element of the Government’s “even more ambitious approach” to tackling conflict and building stability overseas.2 The CSSF involves the expenditure by the Government of more than £1 billion every year. In the course of our inquiry, we examined:

2.We published inquiry terms of reference and a call for evidence on 26 May 2016.3 We took oral evidence in public from Sir Mark Lyall Grant, National Security Adviser, Robert Chatterton Dickson, Director of Foreign Policy, National Security Secretariat, Cabinet Office and Melinda Simmons, Head of the National Security Secretariat Joint Programme Hub. In addition, we took oral evidence in public from a panel of experienced practitioners and stabilisation experts. We took oral evidence in public and in private from a panel of non-governmental CSSF suppliers. And in January 2017 we received a classified briefing in private from Gwyn Jenkins, Deputy National Security Adviser (Conflict, Stability and Defence). Some differences of view were revealed between those managing the CSSF at the centre of Government and those delivering the programmes (see paragraphs 54–61). We are grateful to all those who submitted oral and/or written evidence to our inquiry. We also thank our Specialist Advisers, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Professor Michael Clarke and Professor Sir Hew Strachan, for their input.4


1 HCWS392 [on the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund settlement for 2015–16], 12 March 2015

2 HM Government, National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015: A Secure and Prosperous United Kingdom, Cm 9161, November 2015, para 5.118

3 The inquiry terms of reference can be found on the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy website.

4 The declarations of interests by Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Professor Michael Clarke and Professor Sir Hew Strachan are available in the Committee’s Formal Minutes 2015–16.




6 February 2017