In response to the publication of “UK Aid: Changing Lives, Delivering Results” outlining the results of two major reviews of aid spending, Progressio welcomes the government’s recommitment to tackling poverty.
“At a time when every penny counts, it’s clear from these reviews that the government is committed to ensuring that money spent on aid has the biggest possible impact for the world’s poorest people,” says Christine Allen, Progressio’s Exceutive Director.
“Spending this aid wisely will mean listening to ordinary people and working through close consultation with local civil society organisations in each place where aid is being used. This is essential to ensure that the real needs of communities are met, and that there is good accountability for spending.”
Progressio also welcomes the review's recognition of the particular importance of working in states affected by conflict or weak governance (or “fragile states”), but notes that spending priorities in such countries must be guided by local civil society if there is to be a beneficial and lasting impact.
“Fragile states are usually also the poorest, so it is right to support action on poverty there. But if this is to have a positive long term impact we must also work hard to build up good governance and support civil society,” says Progressio’s Head of Policy, Tim Aldred.
“Civil society organisations in fragile states have a vital role to hold national governments to account and press for the changes ordinary people want to see. Without their work, projects intended to tackle poverty are at greater risk of being undermined by renewed conflict, corruption, or a lack of ownership from the people they are intended to help.
“It’s clear from these reviews that the government is ready to back a heavyweight aid programme. Our job now is to make sure that, as detailed decisions are made in light of the reviews, the voices of those we hope to help will be listened to.”
Prachanda Man Shrestha, a Progressio development worker in Yemen, knows first hand what it’s like living and working in a fragile state. Reporting from the Yemen capital, Sana’a, he said: “It’s great that the UK will continue supporting Yemeni people to work towards better lives through social development. The current troubles we are experiencing in Yemen make our work with civil society even more important.”
Tim Aldred concluded: “We are now looking forward to understanding more about the detail of the reviews, and their implications for the UK’s future aid programme.”
Photo: Boys in Yemen (©Nick Sireau/Progressio)
Note to editors:
1. The DFID publication “UK Aid: Changing lives, delivering results” shares the outcomes of two major reviews of aid spending, looking at the countries (the Bilateral Aid Review) and multilateral institutions (the Multilateral Aid Review) which will be prioritised for UK aid in future.
2. For more information on Progressio’s response to the aid review or to arrange an interview with Tim Aldred please contact Tim directly on +44 (0)7740 543 047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. For more information on Progressio's programmes in Yemen, Zimbabwe, Malawi or Somaliland please contact Esther Trewinnard, Communications Officer on +44(0)7783 409045 or email email@example.com
4. Progressio is a UK-based charity working internationally to help people gain power over their lives and overcome barriers that keep them poor. For further information see www.progressio.org.uk