ICAI Year 4 Workplan Consultation opens today

“ICAI is opening a public consultation to help shape our Year 4 Workplan today. We welcome any input that you may have and please feel free to pass on to colleagues. The closing date for responses is Friday 6th September.

The consultation document is available here: http://icai.independent.gov.uk/?p=1637&preview=true  and the text is copied below for your convenience.

ICAI Year 4 Workplan Consultation
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact is the independent body responsible for the scrutiny of UK aid expenditure (Official Development Assistance). We focus on maximising the effectiveness of the UK aid budget for intended beneficiaries and on delivering value for money for UK taxpayers.

We are holding a public consultation to inform the development of our workplan for our fourth year of operation (i.e. reports to be published between 12 May 2014 and 11 May 2015). We encourage anyone with an interest in the UK’s aid budget to take this opportunity to have their say and help to shape our plans.

As set out in our 2012-13 Annual Report, we will continue to be guided by our selection criteria of materiality, coverage, interest and risk, while also planning to diversify the types of work that we carry out to make the best use of our increasing body of evidence from our first three years of reports. We will consider different types of reports such as:

  • Programme reviews: this is likely to include scrutinising areas that we believe to be particularly important, given our findings and experience to date, and areas of particular interest to stakeholders;
  • Synthesis reports: this could include drawing together our increasing evidence base from the 35 reports we will have produced by the end of Year 3. This is likely to include some more thematic reviews, for example, synthesising and building upon our findings to date in a particular sector; and
  • More detailed follow-up: by Year 4, changes to impact for intended beneficiaries as a result of our first reports should be more visible. We will develop our approach to follow-up to understand these changes and to encourage further improvement and lesson-learning.

We would welcome your proposals for review topics. Please present these as concisely as possible, giving a summary of what you think ICAI should be reviewing and your reasons for suggesting the topic. Submissions should be no longer than 2,000 words.
It may help to look at our 2012-13 Annual Report (including our Year 3 Workplan in Chapter 5) and our report on ICAI’s Approach to Effectiveness and Value for Money when preparing your submission.

If you would like to submit views to ICAI, please send them to enquires@icai.independent.gov.uk.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 6th September 2013.

Sam Harrison
Communications Manager
Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Dover House | 66 Whitehall | London SW1A 2AW
020 7270 6742 |07500 224642
Due to an ongoing problem the voicemail on my office phone is incorrect. Please email or SMS me if I do not pick up for faster response.
Follow us on Twitter: @icai_uk

DRAFT DFID Evaluation Policy – Learning What Works to Improve Lives

RD Comment: The policy document is a draft for consultation at this stage. The document will be revised to accommodate comments received. The aim is to have a finished product by the end of this calendar year. People who are interested to comment should do so directly to Liz Ramage by 16th November.

DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION 24 AUGUST 2012 (Pdf available here)

“This Evaluation Policy sets out the UK Government’s approach to, and standards for, independent evaluation of its Official Development Assistance (ODA).


We are publishing this evaluation policy for Official Development Assistance (ODA) at a time when the UK Government’s (the Government) approach to evaluation of international development programmes is being completely transformed.

This policy covers evaluation of all UK ODA around 87% of which is managed by the Department for International Development (DFID).  Major elements of ODA are also delivered through other Government Departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The Government is rapidly scaling up its programmes to deliver on international commitments and the Millennium Development Goals.   In doing so, the Government has made a pact with the taxpayer that this will be accompanied by greater transparency and commitment to results and measurable impact.   Evaluation plays a central part in this undertaking.

In 2011, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) was established, a radical change in the UK’s architecture and adopting a model which sets new standards for independence with a focus on value for money and results.  Reporting directly to Parliament, ICAI sets a new benchmark for independence in scrutiny of development programmes which applies across all UK ODA.

In parallel withICAI’s work, UK Government Departments are placing much greater emphasis on evidence and learning within programmes.

I am excited by the changes we are seeing within DFID on this initiative.  We are rapidly moving towards commissioning rigorous impact evaluations within the programmes, with much stronger links into decision making and to our major investments in policy-relevant research.

Not only has the number of specialist staff working on evaluation more than doubled, but these experts are now located within the operational teams where they can make a real improvement to programme design and delivery.

Finally, I want to note that DFID is working closely with Whitehall partners in building approaches to evaluation.  This fits well with wider changes across government, including the excellent work by the Cross-Government Evaluation Group including the updateof the Guidance for Evaluation (The Magenta book)”

Mark Lowcock, Permanent Secretary, Department for International Development




1.1      Purpose of the Policy and its Audience.

1.2      Why we need independent and high quality evaluation.


2.1      The Government’s commitment to independent evaluation.

2.2      The Independent Commission for Aid Impact

2.3      The international context for development evaluation.


3.1      Definition of evaluation.

3.2      Distinctions with other aspects of results management

3.3      Evaluation Types.


4.1      Quality.

4.2      Principles.

4.3      Standards.

4.4      Criteria.

4.5      Methods.

4.6      How to decide what to evaluate.

4.7      Resources.


5.1      Definitions and quality standards for impact evaluation.


6.1      The importance of communicating and using evaluation findings.

6.2      Timeliness.

6.3      Learning and using evidence.


7.1      A more inclusive approach to partnership working.

7.2      A stronger role for developing countries.

7.3      Partnerships with multilaterals, global and regional funds and civil society organisations.


8.1      A transformed approach to evaluation.

8.2      DFID’s co-ordinated approach to results: where evaluation fits in.

8.3      Mandatory quality processes.

8.4      Ensuring there are no evidence gaps in DFID’s portfolio.

8.5      Building capacity internally: evaluation professional skills and accreditation programme.

8.6      Roles and responsibilities for evaluation.

PS: For comparison, the previous policy document: Building the evidence to reduce poverty The UK’s policy on evaluation for international development. Department for International Development (DFID) June 2009, and the March 2009 draft version (for consultation).



AusAID’s Information Publication Scheme: Draft Plan & Consultation

The 12th April 2011 Draft plan is now available in pdf and MS Word


“AusAID is the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development, an executive agency within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. Its primary role is the implementation and oversight of the Australian Government aid program. The aim of the program is to assist
developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia’s national interest.

Reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) have established the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). The purpose of the IPS is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Australian Government and enhance and promote Australia’s representative
democracy by increasing public participation in government processes and increasing scrutiny, discussion, comment and review of government activities and decisions.

AusAID is committed to greater transparency through the implementation of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) and other initiatives that will introduced. As Australia’s ODA commitment has increased, public interest in the aid program has correspondingly increased and this will
continue. Implementation of the IPS will provide more information to Australians about AusAID’s activities and help increase public participation understanding and scrutiny of Australia’s aid program.

This draft plan has been prepared to assist AusAID implement the IPS, in accordance with section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 1982 and to give the Australian public the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on this plan.

As AusAID’s final plan is implemented it will be progressively updated in light of experience and feedback. The list of documents that is a core part of this plan will, in particular, be amended.”

The consultation: Visit this AusAid website to see how to participate and to read the views of others who have already contributed.


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