UK aid and foreign affairs merger has brought ‘benefits,’ study finds

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UK Engagement with East Africa


The United Kingdom’s controversial merger of its aid and foreign affairs departments has delivered “benefits” for development work in key countries in East Africa, a study based on almost 200 interviews argues. The 2020 creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office — widely criticized as chaotic for aid delivery — “shows early promise” toward its aim of integrating policy objectives, the Royal United Service Institute think tank found. ... “We found benefits, through our research, for the delivery of aid and development, although this was not across the board,” one of the study’s authors, Michael Jones, told Devex. “There were tangible examples where aid, development and diplomatic engagement had married up in an interesting way, for example, in Ethiopia, over conflict de-escalation and respect for humanitarian law.”