Governance portfolio review summary

from Department for International Development
Published on 03 Oct 2011 View Original
  1. Introduction: What is the Governance Portfolio Review?

1.1 DFID’s investment in governance aims to support the development of capable, accountable and responsive states that provide security, enable growth, reduce poverty and improve the delivery of public services.i It also seeks to build peace and stability and strong state-society relations in fragile states. Between 2004–9 DFID’s investment in governance averaged 17% of DFID’s development assistance. Making the most of the money – spending it in the most effective and efficient way to achieve the most impact – is a priority for the UK Government.

1.2 In 2009-10, DFID undertook a review of its governance portfolio and the impact of its spending at country and global levels in governance related programmes. It is a retrospective look at how DFID has been engaging in this area over the five-year period 2004 to 2009 for which complete project data is available. The purpose of the review was to assess the results of DFID’s expenditure in governance, and how DFID could better allocate resources to further improve value for money (vfm) in the future. The findings are already being be used to support DFID’s renewed focus on achieving and demonstrating the results and vfm of UK development assistance for governance. The review posed three questions in relation to the governance portfolio:

  • Is DFID investing in the right things in the right areas?

  • Is the quality of these investments high?

  • Is the governance portfolio providing vfm?

1.3 The governance portfolio review (GPR) was a complex undertaking given the scope, range and variety of the portfolio. It consisted of an analysis of DFID spend by project input sector codes, based on OECD-DAC conventions to provide the raw data. The quality of spend on performance data was problematic, with miscoding and under-reporting of governance spend, necessitating careful checking and recoding of the data. Centrally generated data was supplemented by four country-case studies (Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria and Vietnam) to fully understand how DFID supports governance in a range of country contexts. In-depth studies in four governance sub-sectors – public financial management, taxation, elections and political systems, and security and justice – were also undertaken to triangulate the findings. These were complemented by a review of secondary sources and evaluations as well as additional surveys of DFID staff.

1.4 This summary will outline briefly the quality of the evidence for why DFID invests in governance, the areas DFID has been investing in, what we have achieved and assess the vfm for the portfolio. The final section captures the recommendations and highlights the steps DFID is taking to improve the quality of the portfolio.