Deborah Doane, director of anti-poverty group the World Development Movement, said today that the UK government’s aid spending inquiry should scrutinise the growing private sector cash-in on development aid.
The new development secretary Justine Greening said on Sunday that her department would review its spending on consultants, following revelations that UK-based ‘poverty barons’ are making hundreds of millions of pounds from the foreign aid budget.
Deborah Doane said:
Increased scrutiny into the spending of UK aid money on consultants and contractors is very welcome. But this is only one part of a bigger picture, which shows the increasing involvement of the private sector, including multinational corporations, in the delivery of the UK aid budget.
Methods such as public private partnerships that have been discredited here in the UK are being promoted by the UK government in developing countries. We need a wide-ranging and independent inquiry to look at the growing private sector involvement in development aid, and how effective this approach is in meeting the needs of the poorest people, compared to approaches that focus on strengthening the public sector. Aid should be given by the UK as a contribution to global equity, not as a business opportunity.”