UK campaign to end violence against women must be bolder, says aid watchdog
The UK’s campaign to end violence against women and girls in developing countries has put the issue “firmly on the international agenda” but needs to be far bigger and bolder if it is to have real impact, the independent aid watchdog has warned.
In a report, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (Icai) praises the Department for International Development (DfID) for demonstrating global leadership on the issue and helping to increase knowledge and evidence.
Since 2012, DfID has almost doubled the number of programmes dedicated to tackling gender-based violence – from 64 to 127 – while spending has increased from £20m to £184m. Two years ago, the UK hosted the high-profile, international Girl Summit to focus attention on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation.
The study, billed as a learning review, gives DfID a green rating – the highest – saying the department has shown “strong achievement across the board” and that UK aid is making a “significant positive contribution”.
But it warns the department that its efforts will not deliver “transformative impact” until it scales up its projects, sets specific targets and indicators for its work, and collects the necessary data to help it assess whether its programmes yield value for money.
Tina Fahm, Icai’s lead commissioner for the review, said that while there was much to commend, DfID should not underestimate the work needed to tackle what the report terms a “global epidemic” of violence against women and girls.