Each month, the U.K. Department for International Development releases a public report of its disbursements above a threshold of 500 pounds. These reports list everything the department has spent its money on that month — from office equipment to contributions to multilateral development funds. By aggregating these transactions for all of 2017, cleaning the data, and analyzing it, Devex has determined which organizations received the most DFID funding over the course of 2017.
While DFID’s disbursements reports encompass all kinds of costs, invariably the organizations that receive the most funding are its program implementers. Below we list the top 10 private sector contractors to DFID. Many of them are familiar names in the U.K. and international aid communities. In fact, there are many repeat appearances from our last analysis in 2015.
A note about the data and methodology used to compile this list: While the public reports refer to the transactions they contain as “disbursements,” they’re actually listed in DFID’s DevTracker under each program’s “expenditures.” The semantics are important, because disbursements in DFID parlance refer to the amount placed at the disposal of an implementing agency or country, while “expenditures” refer to spending on final goods or services. The reports contain both: expenditures for transactions between DFID and final service or goods providers; and disbursements for programs in which DFID delegated procurement to a managing entity, such as a multilateral development bank or fund manager. In this regard, the transactions are as granular as possible from the perspective of DFID in the context of each program. This also means our data doesn’t refer to newly awarded contracts won during 2017, but rather income that contractors generate from previously awarded contracts.
Note that this list only ranks DFID funding paid to private sector organizations — not NGOs, civil society organizations, charities, nonprofits, academic institutions, or public agencies. Stay tuned for our coverage of DFID for more information about how these types of entities fared in the market for DFID funding in 2017.