Q&A: Biggest pitfalls for NGOs bidding on DFID contracts

What are the biggest pitfalls among INGOs trying to make the switch to DFID contracts? Photo by: Everypixel

As the share of the United Kingdom’s aid spent through commercial contracts continues to grow, many international NGOs are making the switch from traditional grants to contracts.

The competition is stiff, as for-profit giants such as Adam Smith International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and others flex decades’ worth of experience, vast overheads and, in some cases, entire departments designed around Department for International Development contracting. International NGOs are also often intimidated by DFID’s value for money indicators, and worry they won’t have the risk appetite to stomach its payment-by-results approach, in which the delivery partner is paid for its work only after the results are delivered.

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About the author

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    Molly Anders

    Molly Anders is a former U.K. correspondent for Devex. Based in London, she reports on development finance trends with a focus on British and European institutions. She is especially interested in evidence-based development and women’s economic empowerment, as well as innovative financing for the protection of migrants and refugees. Molly is a former Fulbright Scholar and studied Arabic in Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.