DFID_letter_61109

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Leading the British Government’s fight against world poverty
                                                               1 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5HE




                                                               Email:   j-yates@dfid.gov.uk
                                                               Tel:     0207 023 1221


                                                               03 November 2009



        DFID’s Building Support for Development programme and the Enabling
        Effective Support initiative

        Dear Rohini,

        Thank you for your recent input into DFID’s reviews of its longer term work to build
        support for development in the UK. The reviews have been an extremely important
        process for DFID and we strongly value the contributions made by all our partners.
        The reviews have enabled us to examine what has worked well over the past ten
        years since the launch of the Building Support for Development strategy in 1999, and
        consider our future vision and approach with a view to ensuring maximum impact of
        our available resources on raising development awareness in the UK.

        The consultation phase on the review’s recommendations has now ended and we
        have discussed their findings with the DFID Minister responsible for this portfolio of
        work, PUSS Mike Foster. This letter outlines how DFID intends to respond to the
        review in relation to the education sector, and the specific implications this has for the
        future of the Enabling Effective Support programme.

        The education review outlined successes of the Building Support for Development
        education programme over the last ten years. In particular it noted that we have
        contributed to some great results, including integrating global issues into the curricula
        in England and Wales, as well as enabling a plethora of initiatives to support schools
        that have made a significant impact on school children’s understanding of global
        issues. We are extremely grateful for the contribution you personally have made to
        this.

        However, the review also made some important observations around areas that we
        could strengthen: showing in particular that our engagement with the statutory bodies
        in the education sector had not been strong enough, and that our overall approach
        could be more strategic and outcome focussed, with a greater emphasis on impact
        and monitoring and evaluation.


                                                               Switchboard +44 (0) 1355 844000
                                                               Fax +44 (0) 1355 844099
                                                               www.dfid.gov.uk

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Specifically in relation to the Enabling Effective Support programme, the review noted
that there were examples of effective outputs and good performance, but that there
were also shortfalls, particularly in relation to the lack of clear outcome focused
objectives for the programme as a whole and weak overall management structures.
There was seen to be a lack of capacity to monitor reach or enable best practice and
lessons to be shared easily across regions or back up to the national policy making
level, and inconsistent impact across different regions. The review recommended
that we consider cancelling the current grant agreements and inviting consortia to bid
for a new programme of regional/ local support with clearly specified desired
outcomes.

We have carefully considered different options to respond to the review
recommendations and the comments to the consultation. As you will appreciate, it is
not possible or appropriate for DFID to do nothing and simply proceed with business
as usual. We need to respond to the review findings as it is critical that we ensure
maximum impact and value for money with the financial and staff resources we have
available. We therefore propose to continue to focus the bulk of our longer term
building support for development work on the education sector: we are convinced
that investment in development education in the UK will pay long-term dividends in
terms of the future role the UK will play in helping to solve global challenges.
However, we propose taking forward the key recommendations by making the
following changes to our education funding and approach.

The proposal set out below has not yet been shared more widely. However, we
wanted to write to you in the first instance given the specific implications for the EES
programme. The proposal outlined (as well as the approaches for our other areas of
building support for development work) will be subject to a further month of
consultation from the beginning of next week, starting 09 November, when we will put
a notice on our website. Following this consultation, comments made will be taken
into account by the Minister in making a final decision on the future of the
programme. At this point we will write to you again to confirm that decision.
Specifically, we propose rationalising our current project portfolio by phasing out the
Enabling Effective Support programme. We propose to replace it with a new
programme of support for global learning in England at regional and local levels,
utilising funding from the EES programme combined with other DFID resources
currently allocated to development education projects. There would be separate
programmes of support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A single DFID
funded development education programme in England would enable us to create a
more coherent approach with others working in the education sector, as well as to
support a tighter outcome and results focused management structure for a global
learning delivery model that integrates the capacity for lesson learning across
different projects and feeds this back up into policy dialogue. Importantly, if we were
to pool together the work we fund on education under one programme of support,
this would also reduce transaction costs to ensure greater value for money, as well
as free up DFID staff time for more strategic work.

Should we decide to proceed with this proposal, it will be necessary to terminate our
current grant arrangements for the EES in England (we will confirm arrangements
with EES coordinators in the three devolved nations in due course). If the EES grant
arrangements are terminated we wish to ensure that a substantial notice period is
given so as to avoid disruption to the programme of activities you are taking forward
as part of your current annual plans. In that event the proposed end date for the
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Enabling Effective Support Programme would be August 2010 to coincide with the
end of this school year.

We would expect the new unified programme to have a national management
structure with regional and local partners. However, we cannot comment on any
details at this stage as the new programme would be designed in collaboration with
the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and experts in this field
and put out to a competitive tender in the New Year. We will separately take forward
discussions with partners in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the coming
months about the best way to continue our support to global learning in these parts of
the UK.

We did consider the option of responding to the review by handing over responsibility
for the EES grant agreements to a managing agent. However, it is not possible to do
this under government rules because if activities currently carried out by civil
servants are contracted out, the cost incurred must be charged to our admin budget.
Therefore the costs of the EES managing agent would have to come from our admin
budget, which (as we have previously explained to you and is noted in the review) is
severely constrained. Also, this option would not enable us to achieve a more
streamlined and coherent approach by combining our support to the EES with other
parts of our education work.

The other option we considered was whether we should free up substantial
resources for new work by ending our support through the EES to local/ regional
level organisations. In this scenario, we would provide direct support to schools to
teach with a Global Dimension through our substantial school linking programme,
and focus our own work at the national level on promoting global learning with
relevant statutory education bodies. We decided against this approach as we believe
that maintaining regional/ local support is essential to embedding the Global
Dimension in schools, as well as to enable lesson learning and best practice to be
fed back up into national policy level discussions.

DFID is extremely grateful for the work you have taken forward in your role as EES
coordinator and we sincerely hope you are not too disheartened by the proposal we
have outlined. We believe that a new approach will build on the achievements of the
EES over the last decade by strengthening support to global learning in schools and
aligning it more closely with the statutory sector.

As the review highlighted, it is not realistic for DFID to continue to operate in the
education space without creating a closer relationship with DCSF and other key
bodies in the education sector. We are therefore also proposing to develop a global
education strategy with the DCSF to promote global learning and sustainable
international partnerships between schools, and have committed to working jointly
with DCSF to improve the efficiency, impact and coherence of all our international
work with schools, including through developing joint relationships with the key
statutory education bodies. We will also seek to achieve more coordination and
coherence with the work of our Partnership Programme Arrangement (PPA) partners
by strengthening collaboration with them on work with schools and young people.

We believe that our proposed way forward demonstrates that DFID remains strongly
committed to building support for global development issues in the UK, and that in
particular that we remain convinced that the best way to engage children and young
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people in development is through the formal education system. We recognised this in
the recent White Paper where the UK government committed to continue its focus on
promoting learning about development through the UK education system.
Many thanks again for all your work towards enabling young people in the UK to
have access to education about global issues, and also for your substantial inputs to
DFID’s review process.

We look forward to seeing you at DFID for the EES meeting on Thursday 5 th
November.

Best wishes,


Jenny Yates
Head of Outreach & Stakeholder Relations team
Communications Division
Department for International Development




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