I finished my first post-Brexit post by noting the “exquisitely sharp dilemma” Britain’s new Prime Minister has to manage. That was before she seemingly decided to sharpen the dilemma by appointing Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. But some of Theresa May‘s other new Cabinet appointments may give more reason for serious reflection. Continue reading
Development aid and peacekeeping: what can the money be spent on?
This week it was confirmed that in 2013 the UK will hit the target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on official development assistance (ODA). A long-standing campaigning goal for development NGOs and a moral goal for the country have been achieved. And the week before, UK Secretary for International Development Justine Greening said in the House of Commons on Wednesday that she thought it right to look at how DFID can work more closely with the Ministry of Defence.’ Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading
Development aid debate – today and post-2015
Further to my 24 September post on the re-emerging debate in Britain about foreign aid, I neglected a major reason why the government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on development assistance isn’t changing: Prime Minister David Cameron is co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on the future of development. No surprise, then, that he confirmed the 0.7 per cent commitment straight after the panel’s first meeting. Continue reading
Development aid – its opponents and proponents
A new debate is heating up in Britain about overseas development assistance – ODA. To foreign observers struck by how international generosity became a cross-party consensus here, it may come as something of a surprise that development aid is under pressure. But it is real and should be heeded for well-honed arguments are needed. Continue reading
England’s riots: If the UK were a fragile state…
Last week, rioting and looting gripped England. At a time when many people are feeling in one way or another bad about our country, it seemed salient (and perhaps inevitable) to ask, if the UK were a fragile state, how would we approach the events of last week, their aftermath and the future? Continue reading
The world is not prepared for climate-related conflict
A recent meeting at DFID brought together a number of people from different government departments, NGOs and research centres to discuss some of the under-discussed aspects of the climate/security links. Laurie Goering captured the essence of the discussion in this AlertNet article.
From the UK gov’t, a good message on development and peace
The UK’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell made a speech in London on 16 September setting out his and DFID’s approach on development, security, conflict and peace issues. It was barely noticed by the press. That’s a shame because it was very important – far more so than what he and other members of the government are saying this week at (or about) the UN Millennium Summit in New York. Continue reading
DFID leaks about aid and security
As the UK government reviews its bilateral and multilateral aid programmes and moves towards reshaping aid policy, there have been a couple of leaks and a bit of background noise. So what do they add up to and what do they tell us about how the wind blows? Continue reading
The big beasts of development… – and peace
Under new leadership, the UK Department for International Development is emphasising results and accountability. And as part of that, the big multilateral beasts of development – to which the UK gives £3 billion a year – are coming under the efficiency microscope. It will be good to assess them not just for efficiency but for impact, and especially their impact on peace and conflict because it is the thing they have trouble taking into account. Continue reading
UK development aid: First major government speech
The UK Secretary of State for International development, Andrew Mitchell, gave his first major, setpiece speech in government on Thursday. The debate starts up again.