DfID urged to monitor resilience work more carefully

28 Feb 18

An aid watchdog has called on the UK Department for International Development to do more to ensure the results of its investments in natural disaster resilience efforts are monitored thoroughly.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact said, in a review of DfID’s approach to building resilience, that overall the department had taken “a well-considered approach to mainstreaming resilience to natural disasters”.

But the review pointed out that DfID’s work in other sectors, such as health, education, infrastructure and governance, was more variable than in natural disasters.

It warned that DfID was failing to “routinely gather, synthesise and communicate its growing knowledge base on resilience” and said that the department should do more to ensure results measurement and learning is improved.

The report said: “In particular, the review found that DfID’s humanitarian, environmental and climate related programmes were consistently contributing to reducing vulnerability and strengthening resilience.

“However, in the countries sampled, performance was more variable in other sectors, such as health, education, infrastructure and governance, where resilience to natural disasters was not an explicit objective.

“The majority of these programmes were likely to build resilience, but attention to reporting was found to be less consistent.”

The ICAI review made a number of recommendations, including keeping risk assessments and resilience strategies up to date, undertake stock take of its work on resilience and adopt a “portfolio” approach to resilience.

A DfID spokesperson said: “ICAI rightly recognises the practical ways DfID’s work is helping save lives in the world’s poorest countries where people are too often most at risk from extreme climates and natural disasters.

“From long-term solutions for communities ravaged by cyclones in Bangladesh, to programmes rehabilitating farmland that have helped avert famine in Ethiopia, UK aid is undertaking crucial work to build resilience and create a more stable and prosperous world for us all.”

Earlier this month, the watchdog also called for DfID to tighten its approach to value for money for foreign aid spending.

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