On Tuesday Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development announced the results of his Department’s multilateral and bilateral aid reviews. An overview of the results is available here. The reviews were established shortly after the Coalition Government was formed to look at all areas of the Department’s work and make recommendations for changes to make it more effective. The results are the most comprehensive overview we have yet seen of the Government’s approach to international development and therefore the announcement is an important milestone.
Overall RESULTS strongly welcomes the reviews. It is crucial that UK support for developing countries is focused on truly achieving results for poor people and supporting their own efforts to escape poverty. The top-line results that the Department has committed to delivering through both multilateral and bilateral channels over the next four years to 2015 are:
- Secure schooling for 11 million children
- Help vaccinate more children against preventable diseases than there are people in the whole of England
- Provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation to more people than there are in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Save the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth
- Stop 250,000 newborn babies dying needlessly
- Support 13 countries to hold freer and fairer elections
- Help 10 million more women get access to modern family planning
- Provide 50 million people with the means to help work their way out of poverty [by providing them with access to financial services]
- Stop 10 million more children going hungry
- Help halve malaria deaths in 10 of the worst affected countries
- Help millions of poor people protect their livelihoods from the impact of climate change.
Below we discuss the two reviews in more detail, and while we are broadly supportive of their contents we raise a few questions on specific decisions, as well as pointing out the need for further information on funding decisions and the specifics of country-level programmes. Continue reading