On this month’s grasssroots conference call, we heard from the ONE Campaign’s Nasim Salad about the need for the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to prioritise development spending on programmes that focus on poverty reduction and can demonstrate their effectiveness in a transparent way. She shared evidence from ONE’s Real Aid Index which provides data on which to base prioritisation decisions. You can watch a recording of the call here.

This month’s campaign action is to write to the FCDO Secretary of State Dominic Raab MP, asking him to focus on ‘human development’ priorities such as education, nutrition, disease eradication and vaccinations. Details of how to take part are here.

The day after the call, Stort Valley RESULTS group’s MP, Julie Marson, asked a question in Parliament, asking Secretary of State Dominic Raab MP whether he would join her in assuring that the new FCDO would ‘only enhance our commitment and efficacy in alleviating poverty providing better healthcare, sanitation, water and education across the developing world?’ You can see his answer here – fantastic work, Stort Valley!

Resources referred to on the call:

Media article on senior appointments to the FCDO: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/aug/25/leadership-of-merged-dfid-evidence-of-hostile-takeover-by-fco-say-critics

Article on how COVID-19 is making existing inequalities worse: https://www.bond.org.uk/news/2020/08/9-building-blocks-for-a-comprehensive-global-response-to-covid-19?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Network%20News%2027%20August%202020&utm_content=Network%20News%2027%20August%202020+Version+B+CID_b69104a0e459b8bba4834e27a1fad52f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20the%20blog

Unicef press release on how few children out of school around the world can access remote learning: https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/covid-19-least-third-worlds-schoolchildren-unable-access-remote-learning-during

Blog post about the Africa polio certification: https://www.results.org.uk/blog/polio-time-celebration-or-time-concern

Sign up for the RESULTS National Conference at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/results-national-conference-2020-hopeful-campaigning-in-challenging-times-registration-114317903928

ONE Real Aid Index: https://www.one.org/international/real-aid-index/

Aid Transparency Index 2020: https://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/the-index/2020/

The breakdown for each Government Department: https://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/projects/improving-uk-aid-transparency/

ODI report on financing the end of extreme poverty: https://www.odi.org/publications/11433-financing-end-extreme-poverty-2019-update

ONE Campaign’s submission to the recent IDC inquiry on aid quality – talks about the purpose of UK aid and the ‘national interest’ question and tied aid: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/4988/html/

Announcement on the future of ICAI: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-commits-to-more-effective-and-accountable-aid-spending-under-new-foreign-commonwealth-and-development-office

IDC report on new aid scrutiny arrangements: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jun/09/independent-dfid-imperative-for-effective-uk-overseas-aid-say-mps

Foreign Secretary’s statement on FCDO priorities: https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/dominic-raab-confirms-uks-aid-spending-to-be-cut-by-29bn-amid-coronavirus-downturn

PM’s speech on the reason for the DFID/FCO merger including his remarks on the purpose of UK aid: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-16-june-2020

The Integrated Review call for evidence (deadline 11 September): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/integrated-review-call-for-evidence