Today the House of Commons International Development Committee released the report of their inquiry, Beyond Aid. In LCID’s evidence to the inquiry we set out our views on how to build a more pro-rights, pro-equality and multilateralist approach to development, one which not only lifts people out of poverty but fundamentally redistributes power and address structural injustices.
The International Development Committee’s final report has a strong emphasis on policy coherence in development, both with global partners and across Government in the UK. This is something that our submission emphasised and we are pleased to see it highlighted in the report.
We agree with the report stating that aid is not yet redundant. Poverty reduction and particularly humanitarian relief won’t happen without it. And in middle income countries, if aid is no longer appropriate, we must find creative ways to keep partnering on health, education, and so on.
But we absolutely agree that aid is not the future. As we move beyond aid to policy areas where responsibility is shared by different Government departments – be it trade, tax, climate change or clamping down on illicit financial flows – wider policy coherence only grows in importance.
With one important point at the centre: greater policy coherence should not mean any less autonomy and influence for the Department for International Development. The IDC’s report states upfront that DFID should remain a free-standing Cabinet-level department, to ensure that international development keeps a prominent position within Government, and we are pleased to see this conclusion featured strongly, as it did in LCID’s submission.
A huge amount of work remains to be done, to better orientate our international development policies towards the poorest and most conflict-affected people in the world, to create decent work opportunities for all, to ensure that women and girls are not left behind, to protect our climate too. But in a world where it will take so much more than aid to achieve these goals, improved policy coherence across Government, and with our partners globally, is the crucial starting point.