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Government insists that Newton Fund does not constitute ‘tied aid’, and that demonstrating development impact of projects could take decades

8 September 2020

The International Development Committee has received a reply from the Government to the work of the IDC’s ICAI Sub-Committee on the Newton Fund review conducted by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact.

The Sub-Committee argued that the Newton Fund should not be extended at the Spending Review if the Government is not able to demonstrate that the Fund is delivering value for money and development impact. Members were also concerned that the Newton Fund’s operating model could constitute tied aid.

Within the Government response received by the Sub-Committee, suggestions that the Newton Fund constitutes tied aid are refuted and the Government has refused to undertake a review considering this issue. The Government has given its assurances that Value for Money should be demonstrated from the start of any project receiving support. However, it does argue that it could take decades for the outcome of research and development programmes to be apparent, during which time the impact for some of the projects will remain unknown.

The Sub-Committee will consider closely future Newton Fund activity, and related ODA programmes, during the upcoming Spending Review and the outcome of the Integrated Review.

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