Evaluating the impact and lessons of aid programmes is a crucial part of DFID’s work. High quality evaluations help DFID spend aid more effectively so that more people are lifted out of poverty. And because evaluations are published, they provide a direct line of accountability: to Parliament, the British public and partners in recipient countries.
The management of evaluation within the U.K. aid system is undergoing a number of changes. DFID is changing the way they design aid programmes so that evaluation considerations are ‘embedded’ in programmes at all stages of the project cycle. This means clear assessments of the evidence for what does or doesn’t work in the initial stages of programme design, collection of baseline data and effective evaluation over the life of the programme and beyond.They are scaling up the evaluation capacity of all DFID programme departments and creating evaluation advisors in country and sector offices.
Second, the Government has established the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) – which has the mandate to evaluate and review overall UK aid spending. The Independent Commission is separate from DFID, reporting directly to Parliament.
Watch our interview with Nick York, Head of Evaluation at the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) in which he discusses changes in DFID, upcoming challenges in development evaluation, and much more: