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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article deals with the evolution of British international development policy under the Department for International Development (DFID). It outlines the changing position of the international development agency within Whitehall and major developments in global thinking on aid and development policy. It briefly summarizes the organization of DFID as it relates to aid policy. It then covers aid allocation for poverty reduction, and emphasizes the importance of partnerships over conditionality. It finally addresses why the DFID chose certain approaches and offers a discussion of current policy statements that show economic growth and, in certain respects, suggest a shift of British development policy thinking to closer alignment with the mainstream. In the period since the DFID was established, Britain has become one of the most important and influential donors in terms of the volume of aid and aid policy and it is this that represents the international development legacy.

Keywords: Department for International Development, British international development policy, aid policy, Britain, economic growth

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