Multilateral agencies

Multilateral agencies work regionally and globally to respond to development challenges. 

They are established by intergovernmental agreement but are independent of the interests of any single country member or recipient government; they set their own policies and have their own governance arrangements.

As a member of a multilateral, the British government has rights and duties, including participation at board meetings. These meetings provide an opportunity for the government to influence the design and implementation of multilaterals’ policies.

DFID has developed individual Institutional Strategies (ISs) for many of the key multilateral agencies with which it works. ISs are normally produced every three to four years and aim to set out a framework for DFID’s engagement with individual agencies.

In 2005, the National Audit Office produced a report for DFID on DFID’s engagement with multilaterals. The report is available on the NAO website.

Some of the key multilaterals include: the European Commission, the World Bank, the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Monetary Fund.

In June 2010, Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell announced a review of UK aid spent through multilateral agencies to ensure the UK gets maximum value for money from its contributions to these organisations. The Multilateral Aid Review will report in early 2011.


Last updated: 12 May 2010