DSA Response to the proposed merger of FCO-DFID
The Development Studies Association, the UK association for all those who research, teach and study global development issues, and heads of UK development studies centres, calls on the Government to reconsider its proposal to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
As Covid-19 underscores our global interdependence, it is clear that the good of the UK will not be served by narrow conceptions of national self-interest. The pandemic has shown that our global health system is only as strong as its weakest link. Now is the time for deepening and broadening global co-operation, not retreating behind a quick-win nationalism that trades long term security for short-term gains. DFID’s focus on directing UK aid towards poverty reduction is a critical asset, which has both brought important relief to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, and also earned Britain global recognition as an able and trusted development partner. Parliament’s own International Development Committee only last week highly commended DFID’s achievements and called for it to remain as a standalone department.
At a time when the Government has committed itself to ‘follow the science’, we call on the Government to listen to the combined global development expertise that our Association represents and reverse this decision which has such potential to harm some of the world’s poorest people, further undermine the autonomy of DFID and the effectiveness of UK aid, reduce our influence on the world stage, and leave our country ultimately more exposed to global fragilities and uncertainties.
Sarah White, (outgoing) President of Development Studies Association, University of Bath
Sam Hickey (incoming) President of Development Studies Association, University of Manchester
Dan Brockington and Dorothea Kleine, Sheffield Institute for International Development
Laura Camfield, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Grace Carswell, Department of International Development, University of Sussex
James Copestake, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath
Susan Fairley Murray, Department of International Development, King’s College London
Jonathan Fisher, International Development, University of Birmingham
Jean Grugel, Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York
Claire Heffernan, London International Development Centre
Zoe Marriage, Department of Development Studies; Hannah Bargawi and Elisa Van Department ofEconomics,SOAS University of London
Khalid Nadvi, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Peter Robbins, Development Policy and Practice, Open University
Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, Department of International Development, University of Oxford
Ken Shadlen, Department of International Development, LSE
Mei Trueba, Global Health department, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Michael Walls and Julio Dávila, The Barlett Development Planning Unit, University College London
International Development cluster, University of Edinburgh