What does the advent of the new government mean for UK policy on international development? Continue reading
Posted in Conflict & peace, International development, The economic crunch
Tagged Andrew Mitchell, Climate change, coalition government, Conservatives, DFID, food security, fragile states, human security, Labour, Liberal Democrats, peacebuilding, poverty, UK government, UN
So the dust has settled, the first peacetime coalition in seven decades is in office and the work begins. What about UK international development policy under the new blue and yellow colours?
The battle lines are starting to be drawn over how development assistance and peacebuilding do or don’t support each other, or can or can’t be made to work together, and about whether bad governance and insecurity are the right targets for international development policy and assistance. Continue reading
The Conservative Party is set fair to win next year’s UK general election. What will happen to development policy? The Conservatives published a Green Paper in the summer, shortly after the government put out its White Paper on development, to which I gave a warm review. In this rather long post I extend the same courtesy to the Conservatives. Overall judgement: much to welcome but some reservations because the document is conservative in the wrong way. Continue reading
Posted in Conflict & peace, International development
Tagged adaptation, Conservatives, development aid, DFID, fragile states, human security, International development, peacebuilding, Tories, UK politics, UN
DFID’s impressive White Paper came out in July; it marks a major step forward in thinking and policy-making on international development (see my post on 21 August). But there are at least a couple of points that deserve a second, sceptical look. Without detracting from the achievement registered with the White Paper, but just to have it on record in a quiet way, DFID takes an unguardedly if necessarily optimistic view about recovery from the recession and over-states the success of peace agreements quite dramatically. Continue reading
It can be safely predicted that ideas and the terms of discussion about international development will change fundamentally in the coming five years. A major policy statement from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) marks an important milestone on this road, though it’s a long way from being the endpoint. In this very long post, I explore the white paper and a way of taking DFID’s logic forward. Continue reading
Ever since the end of the British empire, some of us British have been pondering and picking over the question of what is our place in the world. For the British, it is so much part of the condition of being British that for the most part we don’t realise we’re doing it and, when it’s pointed out to us, we assume that it’s simply part and parcel of having a national identity. But it’s not. And our obsession with it says something about us. As our Parliament merrily implodes before our eyes, the question is coming back again but in the end the answer may be surprisingly banal. Continue reading
Posted in Power
Tagged British foreign policy, Bush, DFID, European politics, G-20, Gordon Brown, international politics, MPs' expenses, On the fiddle, Parliament, Tony Blair, UK-US relationship, US
Few people have a good word to say for the British government these days, few British voters anyway. But I like not to follow the crowd. And on international development, they have got something worthwhile going on. There are signs of a real rethink that has a chance of paving the way to making overseas aid more effective. Continue reading
The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is preparing a White Paper. It will be its fourth one since the department was founded in 1997 in the early days of New Labour government. On Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th it held a conference in London as part of the work on the White Paper.