Government explains future of funding for aid organisations

The Civil Society Partnership Review has been published by the Department for International Development

Aid organisations: future funding pointers
Aid organisations: future funding pointers

The Department for International Development has set out how it plans to fund aid organisations in the future and ensure they are transparent about how money is spent.

The Civil Society Partnership Review, published on Friday, outlines the main ways aid organisations will be funded.

DfID said that the new system would simplify the existing funding arrangements. Under the new system, charities and other not-for-profit organisations will be funded through four main streams.

First, UK Aid Match, which will match-fund public donations to charity appeals for projects to reduce poverty in developing countries.

Second,UK Aid Direct, which will provide grants to small and medium-sized civil society organisations, primarily for work to tackle poverty in poor communities around the world, DfID said.

Third, UK Aid Connect, which will fund initiatives designed to encourage collaboration between NGOs and the public and private sectors to help solve some of the most difficult development problems.

Fourth, UK Aid Volunteers, which will offer support to global volunteering programmes, including the International Citizen Service.

DfID says in the review that civil society organisations need to be clear about the results they achieve.

In the foreword to the review, Priti Patel, the international development secretary, says: "The government expects all organisations that manage and receive UK funding to be open and transparent about exactly where the money goes and what it achieves."

She adds: "I will expect further, significant improvements in transparency from organisations which receive UK aid and, crucially, I want this requirement for transparency to be passed down through the aid chain, so that people on the ground in developing countries can see where the money ends up and hold people to account if it fails to reach those who need it." 

Farah Nazeer, director of policy and campaigns at Bond, the UK membership body for international development organisations, broadly welcomed the review.

She told Third Sector: "It helps us understanding how DfID will approach civil society and partnerships with civil society organisations. This helps set out what that partnership might look like going forward.

"It also helps us to understand the broader political priorities, which have been in limbo for a bit. It is good to see that there’s still a focus on ending poverty and on anti-slavery and nutrition, for example."

On the issue of the need for international aid organisations to be more transparent, Nazeer said: "I think we’re already transparent. DfID is one of the most heavily audited departments. British non-governmental organisations are the noted world leaders when it comes to transparency. There’s always room for improvement, but I think we’re quite good anyway."

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