Aid watchdog urges DFID to scale up anti-violence against women programmes

17 May 16

The UK’s Department for International Development must step up its work to tackle violence against women and girls to match the “huge” scale of the problem, the country’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact has said.


In a review of DFID’s work to eliminate violence against women and girls, published today, the aid watchdog commended DFID for its performance, which has galvanised others to act and put issues like female genital mutilation and child marriage firmly on the agenda.

However, it said more needs to be done. The review highlighted that DFID does not collect expenditure or value for money data despite spending in this area increasing nine-fold, to £184m.

 “This is a promising start,” explained Tina Fahm, lead ICAI commissioner for the review. “But it is only the beginning.

“The test now is for DFID to step up its work to tackle violence against women and girls, which remains small in scale when compared to the huge problem.”

It also needs to influence others to scale up their work, she added.

The review also underscored the fact that DFID does not set itself global targets in this area or routinely track its expenditure.

ICAI said a key value-for-money challenge for DFID is to develop credible approaches to building up the portfolio and generate a higher return on investment.

It found that DFID currently “lacks strategies” to scale up the successes it has achieved.

The review also questioned whether women’s voices are being adequately heard in DFID’s work, with mixed evidence on the extent and quality of beneficiary engagement.

“DFID should assess whether there is potential to strengthen the role of women, and particularly survivors, in the design, governance and monitoring of programmes to make them more responsive to the needs of intended beneficiaries,” it said.


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