Dear Members and Friends,
The further cuts announced to the UK’s international development spending are undoubtedly a blow to many of our members and wider networks. Yet how these cuts will be implemented, and how the still considerable UK overseas aid budget is allocated, will be a key test. The Foreign Secretary has made clear his determination that UK aid will be focussed on 7 global challenges and that delivery mechanisms will be reformed to improve impact, strengthen accountability and value for money. These are all positive ambitions, and the UK is fortunate to benefit from the world’s greatest private sector expertise in the delivery of world class international development projects delivered with the rigour and cost efficiency that only the private sector can bring. This stands in contrast to the variable recent track record of state run project management around the world in the face of global challenges. The challenge now is for the UK to innovate further, demonstrate more effectively the returns to the UK from our international development, build the case with the public and identify force multiplying uses of UK aid which maximise tangible returns — short, medium and long term — to both donor and recipient. As the debate on the best path to global prosperity evolves, and acceptance grows that the private sector is pivotal to supporting sustainable economic and social development goals, we will continue to work with our counterparts in government to ensure the UK stays at the forefront of best practice and avoids a retreat into the outmoded state-centric command modes of spending favoured in the pre-DFID era.
A reminder that we have established a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and welcome all BEI member representatives to join. The group is designed to support members to enhance their practices, approach and development of diversity and inclusion in their organisations. For more information on the group and joining please contact Derrick Sanyahumbi.
Future Events Highlights…
Join us on 3rd December, for a presentation on the recently published UK strategy on safeguarding against sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment within the aid sector. The presentation will be led Peter Taylor Head of the Safeguarding Unit at FCDO.
On 8th December, DIT South Africa Country Director Sean Jordon will present on Infrastructure Opportunities in South Africa, highlighting potential prospects in ongoing and upcoming projects. In addition, the presentation will cover political and economic updates.
On 9th December, Sir Hugh Bayley Commissioner for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) and Review Team Leader Peter Grant will present the findings from their review on UK Aid & Tackling Modern Slavery. ICAI’s review looks at UK aid spending of over £200 million to tackle modern slavery in developing countries.
Delivering development programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic has required creative solutions, resilience, adaptation, innovation, dealing with uncertainty, safeguarding the most vulnerable, working remotely, realigning priorities, exploring digital solutions and more. Join us on 10th December, as our panel share their experiences and learning from Delivering Aid Programmes During Covid-19.
Remember to join our LinkedIn Group!
We are more active than ever on the BEI LinkedIn Group, where we share insights, highlight upcoming events and showcase our members’ latest news and thought leadership. Join the group here.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International