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Better risk assessment central to impact of UK aid funds, says watchdog

Aid impact commission finds use of resources in conflict zones undermined by anxiety to protect reputation and piecemeal approach to risk evaluation

The Department for International Development’s approach to managing aid in conflict zones is often weakened by a desire to protect its own reputation, with staff reporting confusion over how to implement DfID’s key policies, a report has found (pdf).

According to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (Icai), which investigates taxpayer-funded UK aid, DfID staff in conflict-affected areas are satisfactorily assessing and mitigating the risk of aid misuse. However, the report found that weaknesses in the approach to risk transfer, as well as staff confusion over “zero tolerance” and “high-risk appetite” policies, require urgent attention in order to protect UK aid funds and make maximum impact.

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