Too Close for Comfort? Diplomacy, Development and the Future of UK Aid

What are the implications of the merger between the UK Department for International Development and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office for UK overseas aid and development?

Members event, Webinar
18 November 2020 — 1:00PM TO 2:00PM

In June 2020, the British government announced the merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). While Prime Minister Boris Johnson called aid and foreign policy ‘one and the same endeavour’, the House of Commons International Development Committee, comprised of MPs from all major parties, highlighted the importance of DFID as a standalone department with a dedicated and accountable cabinet minister. Although the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of its gross national income on overseas development is enshrined in law, could the closer alignment of diplomacy and development undermine the realization of UK aid objectives?

This webinar considers the intricacies of the international aid and development landscape and the impact the merger might have on the UK’s commitment to alleviating global poverty.

  • How do the aims of diplomacy and development differentiate and overlap?

  • To what extent should international aid and development serve foreign policy and strategic priorities?

  • How might the merger impact the deployment of, and transparency over, the UK’s aid budget

  • And how is the COVID-19 pandemic likely to impact the efficacy, impact and attention of aid and development efforts?

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

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