The Department for International Development, the UK government body responsible for foreign assistance and international development cooperation, has garnered global respect for its work in the developing world since its inception in 1997. By focusing on its core mandate of eliminating global poverty, in 2014 it helped the UK achieve the status of the first G7 country to spend 0.7% of its Gross National Income (GNI) on aid and development in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This briefing paper examines DFIDs legislative and operational environments, and explains the critical role played by Parliament in its monitoring and oversight of the department and its spending. The paper will consider how Parliament attempts to influence policy-making within DFID, primarily through the International Development Committee and the Independent Commission for Aid Impact. Based on the experiences of DFID, recommendations will be provided for Parliamentary monitoring and oversight of the South African Development Partnership Agency.