The Multilateral Aid Review has now concluded and its findings have been published.
The aim of the review was to ensure that the UK gets maximum value for money for UK aid through its contributions to multilateral organisations.
DFID currently funds more than 40 multilateral organisations to undertake a broad range of activities, such as leading the fight against HIV, malaria and TB, responding to natural disasters, providing large scale infrastructure, supporting children and women, and peacekeeping.
These organisations are able to work in many more countries than the UK can reach on its own, and at a scale beyond any single country.
The review assessed the value for money for UK aid of 43 multilateral organisations. Each organisation was assessed against a set of criteria ranging from control of costs through to delivery of outcomes, from focus on poor countries to accountability and transparency.
The report includes summaries of the results of the assessments as well as the organisation by organisation results.
Nine organisations were found to offer very good value for money. Sixteen were found to offer good value for money, nine to offer adequate value for money, and nine to offer poor value for money for UK aid.
The assessment drew on a wide range of evidence including survey data, other studies of effectiveness, external evaluations, reporting by the multilateral organisations, visits by DFID staff to ten developing countries, consultation with developing country partners and submissions to the review from UK civil society and the multilateral organisations themselves.
The review confirmed that the multilateral system is a critical complement to what the UK government can do alone. The best performing organisations were those that are highly focused on results, are accountable, well run and deliver critical improvements to poor people’s lives.
But the review also found there was much room for improvement – particularly in the area of delivering results on the ground, and cost control. The agencies also need to work more effectively in partnership with each other.
Much needed evidence
This review provides DFID with the evidence needed to take decisions about how best to deliver funding through the multilateral organisations in order to make the greatest possible impact on poverty.
It also provides an exceptional opportunity to work with other countries to push for the reforms needed to make these agencies more effective.
How DFID will approach these decisions in light of the report is set out in the paper entitled Taking Forward the Findings of the Multilateral Aid Review.