About us

The Department for International Development has closed. It’s been replaced by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

This DFID page is no longer current. Instead, see FCDO About us.

FCDO guidance, services and information

These services are now provided by FCDO: - international development funding opportunities - UK-funded development projects around the world

History of DFID

DFID was a ministerial department from May 1997 to September 2020. It merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to create FCDO.

What is Uk aid?


We are responsible for:

  • honouring the UK’s international commitments and taking action to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals
  • making British aid more effective by improving transparency, openness and value for money
  • targeting British international development policy on economic growth and wealth creation
  • improving the coherence and performance of British international development policy in fragile and conflict-affected countries
  • improving the lives of girls and women through better education and a greater choice on family planning
  • preventing violence against girls and women in the developing world
  • helping to prevent climate change and encouraging adaptation and low-carbon growth in developing countries


  • strengthening global peace, security and governance

  • strengthening resilience and response to crisis

  • promoting global prosperity

  • tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable

  • delivering value for money

Read our Single Departmental Plan to find out more about how we are performing against our objectives.

Who we are

The Department for International Development (DFID) was set up in 1997. We employ around 3,600 staff who work in our offices in London, East Kilbride and globally.

Where we work

We work in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, many of which are fragile or at risk from fragile neighbours. We also have regional programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and development relationships with 3 aid dependent Overseas Territories – St Helena, the Pitcairn Islands and Montserrat. In addition to working directly in countries, DFID also gives UK Aid through multi-country global programmes and core contributions to multilaterals.

International Development Acts

Three acts of parliament have helped to put development higher on the national agenda. The International Development Act 2002 provides the main legal basis for the provision of development assistance – assistance for the purpose of sustainable development or welfare, and likely to contribute to poverty reduction – and humanitarian assistance; the International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Act 2006 defines DFID’s reporting to Parliament through its Annual Report; and the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015 enshrines into legislation the commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aid.

Case studies

Our case studies explore the impact of DFID’s work and provide real-life examples of our policies in practice.


We fund many organisations that are working to end poverty. Find out about how our funding schemes work and how to apply.

Reporting fraud or corrupt practices

There are scam messages being sent to the public relating to COVID-19 by SMS (text). Please take note that the UK Government will only ask you to go to the gov.uk/coronavirus website. Anything else should be treated as a scam. If you receive a suspicious text, please forward it to 7726.

The Internal Audit Department’s Internal Audit Investigations Section is the central point for raising concerns, suspicions and/or allegations of fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse or other corrupt practices. This includes both internal and external cases where DFID funds, assets or interests (including DFID’s reputation) are involved, as well as any breach of the Civil Service Code.

IAD’s Internal Audit Investigations Section has a dedicated secure email address for raising all concerns: reportingconcerns@dfid.gov.uk

Alternatively, any concerns can be reported by:

  • calling the confidential hotline on +44 (0)1355 843747
  • writing to the Head of Internal Audit, 22 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2EG, United Kingdom

Fraud statistics:

Your information will be treated in confidence. You do not have to provide personal details, however such information will assist us in taking forward your concerns and enable us to provide you with a response on the outcome. If you ask us not to disclose your identity we will not do so without your consent, unless required by law.

If you are concerned about confidentiality you may wish to contact Public Concern At Work, an independent charity, which provides free legal advice on reporting of concerns.

Contact details 020 7404 6609 / helpline@pcaw.co.uk

National Fraud Initiative 2016/17

The use of DFID data to prevent or detect fraud.

DFID is participating in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) 2016/17 data matching exercise carried out by the Cabinet Office. We are required by law to protect public funds that we administer and our participation in the NFI will assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.

We are participating on a voluntary basis and will provide the Cabinet Office with details of our trade creditors as set out in the Cabinet Office’s guidance.

This form of data matching involves comparing computer records held by one public body against those held by other public bodies to establish if there are any corresponding records. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where an inconsistency is found it may indicate that further investigation is necessary.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act, 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act, 1998.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.
Further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and reasons why it matches particular information.

Our guide to how we manage our programmes (Smart Rules) and administration (Blue Book)

The Smart Rules provide the operating framework for the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) programmes.

The Blue Book (admin only) has been revised and now covers all non-programme elements of DFID’s operating framework (ie human resources, security and estates).

Corporate communications

The UK aid logo is designed to help publicly acknowledge that the development programmes we and our partners deliver are funded by UK taxpayers.

Staff in DFID and our partner governments and organisations can download the artwork for the UK aid logo and instructions on how and when to use it.

All organisations delivering DFID-funded programmes must use the UK aid logo in accordance with our standards for use.

No other organisation is permitted to use the logo without our permission.

Contact DFID

You can contact DFID’s general enquiry team if you can’t find the information you need online by emailing enquiry@dfid.gov.uk. We aim to respond within 15 working days from date of receipt and we will forward your email to another government department if they are better placed to respond to your enquiry.

Please note we are unable to accept or respond to enquiries by post.

Check online for the information you need before you contact DFID.

Find out how to:

We cannot help with asylum requests, visa applications or issues relating to entry to the United Kingdom as these are Home Office responsibilities.

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts