DfID's top NGO partners for 2015

A doctor at an International Rescue Committee clinic in Ramtha, northern Jordan, conducts a check-up on a young Syrian refugee. The U.K. is supporting IRC to deliver medical aid and psycho-social support to thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Photo by: Russell Watkins / DfID / CC BY

Nongovernmental organizations remain essential U.K.’s Department for International Development partners in turning the Sustainable Development Goals into a global reality. In 2015, DfID reported that over 10 percent of its bilateral program worldwide was implemented by NGOs.

DfID is expected to soon release the result of its Civil Society Partnership Review — a study of its relationship with civil society organizations. While the review will not determine allocation, it will likely influence DfID’s engagement strategy toward international and domestic NGOs.

The U.K. has unveiled a new aid strategy and announced budget shifts with 50 percent of all DfID’s spending channeled to fragile states and regions. The strategy as a whole suggests a shift of funding toward the MENA region and Syria in particular. A move that is likely to result to adjustment and changes in many NGO operations.

While one of DfID's largest civil society unrestricted funding mechanisms, the Program Partnership Arrangements, are due to end in December 2016, U.K. aid has introduced the Ross Fund, a $1.4 billion commitment to global public health. The initiative places new emphasis on research organizations and will benefit organizations working on tackling infectious diseases, including malaria, diseases of epidemic potential, such as Ebola, neglected tropical diseases and drug-resistant infections.

DfID headquarters manages several other funding mechanisms for NGOs, the majority of which only award restricted funding. Funding mechanisms for NGOs which are currently open include:

Common Ground Initiative: Provides grants to U.K.-based, diaspora-led organizations working to promote sustainable development in the poorest communities in Africa.
Disability Rights Fund: Provides grants to support the work of disabled people’s organizations in developing countries.

Below, Devex ranks DfID’s top 15 NGO partners for 2015, based on spend data published for that calendar year on the U.K. aid agency’s website. Citing security concerns, DfID has withheld transactions for Afghanistan, the sixth biggest recipient of U.K. aid, from publication. The majority of the groups on the list are headquartered in the United Kingdom.

1. Population Services International
Founded: 1970
Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
President and CEO: Karl Hofmann
DfID funding: 48.8 million pounds ($58.8 million)

2. IMA World Health
Founded: 1960
Headquarters: New Windsor, Maryland, United States
President and CEO: Rick Santos
DfID funding: 37 million pounds

3. Marie Stopes International
Founded: 1976
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
CEO: Simon Cooke
DfID funding: 33.9 million pounds

4. VSO
Founded: 1958
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
CEO: Philip Goodwin
DfID funding: 31.4 million pounds

5. Plan International
Founded: 1937
Headquarters: Woking, United Kingdom
CEO: Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen
DfID funding: 30.5 million pounds

Founded: 1972
Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Executive director: Muhammad Musa
DfID funding: 29.9 million pounds

7. British Council
Founded: 1934
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
President and CEO: Ciaran Devane
DfID funding: 26.5 million pounds

8. Oxfam
Founded: 1995
Headquarters: Oxford, United Kingdom
Executive director: Winnie Byanyima
DfID funding: 25.4 million pounds

9. Christian Aid
Founded: 1945
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
CEO: Loretta Minghella
DfID funding: 21.5 million pounds

10. CARE International
Founded: 1946
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Secretary-general and CEO: Wolfgang Jamann
DfID funding: 19.9 million pounds

11. Clinton Health Access Initiative
Founded: 2002
Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
CEO and vice chairman: Ira Magaziner
DfID funding: 19.1 million pounds

12. BBC Media Action
Founded: 2011
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
Executive director: Caroline Nursey
DfID funding: 16.2 million pounds

13. International Rescue Committee
Founded: 1993
Headquarters:  New York, New York, United States
President and CEO: David Miliband
DfID funding: 14.8 million pounds

14. Sightsavers
Founded: 1950
Headquarters: Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
CEO: Caroline Harper
DfID funding: 13.9 million pounds

15. Malaria Consortium
Founded: 2003
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
CEO: Charles Nelson
DfID funding: 12.5 million pounds

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About the author

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    Ma Karen Brutas

    Karen is a former development analyst at Devex’s survey and advisory services team. Before Devex, Karen worked at several NGOs, where she conducted research, capacity building and policy advocacy on women’s human rights, and access to justice.