Evaluating the impact and lessons of our aid programmes is a crucial part of DFID’s work.  High quality evaluations help us spend aid more effectively so that more people are lifted out of poverty.  And because evaluations are published, they provide a direct line of accountability: to Parliament, the British public and our partners in recipient countries.

DFID also works with international partners to:

  • Help our partners in recipient countries strengthen their own capacity for high-quality, relevant evaluation studies;
  • Harmonise evaluation approaches with other aid agencies;
  • Develop international policy standards and best practice for evaluation.

The Government is seeking to make a fundamental shift in the way UK aid spend is evaluated through two main streams of activity:

Embedding evaluation

DFID is changing the way we design aid programmes so that evaluation considerations are ‘embedded’ in our programmes at all stages of the project cycle.  This means clear assessments of the evidence for what does or doesn’t work in the initial stages of programme design, collection of baseline data and effective evaluation over the life of the programme and beyond.

Independent evaluation

Second, the Government is establishing the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) – previously referred to as the Independent Aid Watchdog - which will have a remit to evaluate and review any UK aid spending.  The Independent Commission will be clearly separated from DFID, reporting directly to Parliament.  The Independent Commission will be launched by June 2011. The Secretary of State announced the first steps towards creating the Independent Commission on the 3rd June.
In preparation for start up, the ICAI is seeking to appoint 3 Senior Commissioners who, together with a Chief Commissioner, will lead the ICAI and set strategic direction. The successful applicants will have the profile to command respect and credibility with Parliament and external stakeholders and be independent from Government. The Appointments Commission are running this recruitment exercise.

The Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact (IACDI), set up in December 2007 will be superseded by the Independent Commission in October 2010. To view IACDI reports, decisions and publications visit the IACDI website.


Last updated: 15 Sep 2010