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
6. BRAC 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
Karen is a development analyst at Devex’s survey and advisory services team. She is responsible for conducting special research and consulting projects that focus on development business issues, including donor diversification, market penetration, brand awareness and fundraising strategy. Before joining Devex, Karen worked at several NGOs, where she conducted research, capacity building and policy advocacy on women’s human rights and access to justice.
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