DfID Urged to Improve Monitoring of Multilateral Aid for Infrastructure

The U.K. Department for International Development needs a more “systematic approach” for monitoring the funding it provides to multilateral development banks for infrastructure projects to avoid corruption and ensure value for U.K. taxpayers’ money, the development committee of the U.K. House of Commons said in a new report.

The report lauds DfID’s innovative approach to supporting infrastructure development in the developing world, including through mechanisms such as the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, the Guardian reports. But members of the committee that drafted the report said the department needs to improve the way it tracks and monitor its contributions to multilateral bank-financed infrastructure projects, the news agency adds.

“We believe that assessing the comparative cost of infrastructure projects financed by the various multilaterals should be an ongoing process for DfID,” the committee members said. “We ask DfID to look at how it could undertake a more systematic approach to assessing the value for money provided by different multilaterals for the infrastructure projects they finance.”

The report expresses particular concern over U.K. contributions to infrastructure projects managed by the African Development Bank, which the report said DfID itself has cited for project delays, poor quality staffing and lack of poverty focus in the department’s recent multilateral aid review.

Members of the Common’s development committee also raised concern over the rigid rules of the World Bank and other multilateral development banks which they said hamper the development of local jobs and capacity.

“We recommend that DfID use its leverage at the World Bank and the other MDBs to ensure that they build capacity within developing country government procurement processes, for example by specifying in large infrastructure projects funded by MDBs a certain level of local procurement, or the use of, or training of, local professionals.,” the members of parliament wrote in the report, as quoted by the Guardian.

Further, the report urges DfID to draft and implement an infrastructure strategy that lays out the department’s priorities within the sector such as local capacity development, focus on road safety measures and use of technologies suited for the needs of aid recipient countries.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.