Is DFID any good?

So asks Simon Maxwell at ODI. His conclusion is that DFID is pretty good.

In our own work on aid architecture, we asked developing country aid practitioners from 27 countries to rank donors and comment on their strengths and weaknesses. DFID outranked other bilateral and multilateral donors. DFID scored especially highly on efficiency, flexibility, speed of disbursement and alignment with country priorities.

The conclusion to draw from this: ‘don’t panic!’.

Thanks Simon. It is good to have support from such a reputable and independent source.

Just one quibble. Simon says:

Some of these contributions have a whiff about them of competition between DFID and the Foreign Office, which is unfortunate.

That would indeed be unfortunate. I don’t know if there is any Whitehall briefing going on; but if it is, then it all seems to be going one way. There is nothing in the papers to suggest DFID briefing negatively about the FCO. And a good thing too. We are above that kind of thing.

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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