Corporate report

FCDO Outcome Delivery Plan: 2021 to 2022

Published 15 July 2021

FCDO name plaque

Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP

Permanent Under Secretary Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE


Our ambition for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is to maximise our global impact in the service of British interests and values – working together with our partners and allies as a force for good in the world. That is why we brought our aid budget and development policy together with the global reach of our diplomatic network in the new FCDO – to drive a more integrated approach which strengthens our impact.

This vision is set out in more detail in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, titled ‘Global Britain in a competitive world’, published in March this year. It is the most comprehensive and far-sighted foreign and security policy strategy published by a British Government in decades. It puts the FCDO at the heart of this work as the springboard for all our international efforts.

We are clear about the challenges the world faces – coronavirus (COVID-19), climate change, systemic competition between states, rapid technological change, the list goes on. But we are also confident and optimistic about the kind of world we want to see and the role Global Britain should play within it. We want to see a world that is safe for open and free societies to thrive, where we benefit from technology while maintaining our security and freedoms, where countries come together to tackle the biggest global challenges for the benefit of everyone.

To make this vision a reality, we will reinforce and deploy our comparative advantage in science and tech, take a pioneering approach to free trade, and strengthen and modernise our security. We will be a force for good in the world, getting COVID-19 vaccines to the poorest countries, shifting the dial on climate change, tackling poverty, giving girls in the poorest countries a proper education, and standing up for democracy, freedom and human rights when they come under attack.

On all of these fronts, working with new partners and traditional allies, Global Britain will be more active than ever on the international stage – in particular in the Indo-Pacific. This plan sets out how we will achieve this vision, deliver our Priority Outcomes and transform the organisation to deliver even greater impact than ever.

A. Executive summary

Vision and mission

The creation of the FCDO in September 2020 brought together the former Department for International Development (DFID) and the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This new department will be the springboard for all our international efforts, integrating diplomacy and development to achieve greater impact.

The FCDO will pursue our national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world. We will promote the interests of British citizens, safeguard the UK’s security, defend our values, reduce poverty and tackle global challenges with our international partners.

The FCDO will use the UK’s diplomatic and development tools in a more integrated way, achieving the Prime Minister’s vision for more coherent international delivery across the whole of Government. We will ensure our Ambassadors and High Commissioners are fully accountable for cross-government objectives, not just the work of the FCDO and we will manage and provide the overseas platform for the whole of Government. Whether it is diplomatic campaigns and aid programmes to deliver our open societies agenda or developing targeted sanctions, we will work with domestic departments to build the UK’s influence on key international objectives.

Delivering change that makes a difference in the real world will be at the centre of what we do, using evidence to ensure we are adopting best practices.

We will be ready to respond to crises, particularly those affecting the safety or welfare of British nationals overseas and large-scale humanitarian disasters.

The FCDO will build a diverse range of global partnerships, with bilateral and multilateral partners, the private sector, civil society and beyond. Our staff overseas will develop expertise and partnerships with host governments, individuals and groups who matter most, to enable us to deliver our priorities for UK citizens.

Our priority outcomes

This delivery plan sets out in detail how we will deliver our priority outcomes, how we will measure our success and how we will ensure we continuously improve. Our priority outcomes are to:

  • shape the international order and ensure the UK is a force for good in the world by: supporting sustainable development and humanitarian needs; promoting human rights and democracy; and establishing common international standards

  • make the UK safer and more resilient to global threats

  • extend and amplify the UK’s influence in the world, including through successful application for ASEAN dialogue partner status

The department is also supporting the delivery of the following priority outcomes led by other departments:

Priority Outcome title Lead department
Reduce the risk from terrorism to the UK and UK interests overseas Home Office

The Priority outcomes and metrics will be adjusted through the next Spending Review, including to deliver the Integrated Review

Strategic enablers

To deliver our priority outcomes - and reinforce the ambitions of the Declaration on Government Reform - we will focus on 4 key enablers:

  1. Workforce, Skills and Location
  2. Innovation, Technology and Data
  3. Delivery, Evaluation and Collaboration
  4. Sustainability

B. Introduction


The Integrated Review sets out the government’s assessment of the strategic context to 2030. In 2021 to 2022 contextual factors will have significant impacts on UK foreign policy objectives and delivery of our priority outcomes. These include the following:

  • the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and efforts to vaccinate populations could lead to unpredictable international policies and priorities
  • the strength of economies and trade volumes remaining below pre-COVID-19 levels. Many countries will struggle to achieve the comprehensive recoveries following COVID-19 that will be needed to reduce debt, unemployment, and social inequality
  • challenges to democratic governance in some countries amid the fallout from COVID-19 including increasing poverty, and high levels of discontent
  • geopolitical and geo-economic shifts such as China’s increasing growth and assertiveness internationally, the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific to global prosperity and security, increased geopolitical importance of middle powers, challenges to an open global economy, and the emergence of new markets and growth of the global middle class
  • increased competition between political systems, including to shape the international order. This will cover multiple spheres, including economic statecraft, cyberspace and space
  • an unprecedented ambition-setting year on climate, biodiversity, and environment. High-level summits such as COP26 will spur climate action, but will need to account for differing views and approaches
  • the aftermath of the pandemic continues to transform our relationship with the digital world, changing how we work, interact and adopt new technology. Multilateral organisations will strive to set common digital regulation, standards and norms
  • a deteriorating security environment, including the continued threat from the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and the evolving challenge of State Threats
  • the vast majority of conflicts will remain internal but an increasing international dimension risks making them more intense and harder to deal with
  • increasing food insecurity and humanitarian needs as conflicts continue, climate impacts worsen and the impact of the pandemic is felt
  • rapid technological change, creating challenges to security, societies and individual rights and exposing science and technology as an arena for further systemic competition
  • increased migratory flows driven by many of these factors, including climate change, biodiversity loss, conflict, instability, poverty and effects of COVID-19
  • the ongoing impact of radicalisation and terrorism, serious organised crime and illicit finance

Governance and delivery agencies

Details of the FCDO’s main governance structures – the FCDO Supervisory Board; FCDO Management Board; the Audit and Senior Risk Committee; the FCDO Senior Leadership Board; and the Executive Committee - can be found on In addition:

The Strategy Committee is responsible for making sure the department is fit for the future. It focuses on challenge and strategic oversight, recommending changes to the FCDO’s strategic direction and its strategic capability and ensuring coherence and links to wider HMG strategy.

The Investment Committee is responsible for assessing whether the FCDO is spending on the right things and delivering the best value for money.

The People Committee is responsible for making sure the FCDO has the best workforce to deliver. It supports the organisation to have the right people in the right roles at the right time and the resilience and wellbeing of all FCDO staff.

The Delivery Committee assesses whether the FCDO is delivering what it said it would: achieving the desired effect as well as undertaking the planned activity, to high standards, across all areas of the FCDO‘s work.

The Permanent Under-Secretary (PUS) is the FCDO’s Accounting Officer and responsible for:

In addition, the FCDO sponsors the British Council (a public corporation, NDPB and Charity) and FCDO Services (which is a trading fund and an executive agency). FCDO is also a 100% shareholder in a public limited company (CDC Group plc). FCDO operates an arm’s-length relationship for its shareholding. This means that day-to-day operations and investment decisions are independent of government.

The FCDO’s relationship with each NDPB is agreed and set out in a published Framework Agreement. This includes sections on funding levels, jointly agreed priorities, performance measures, engagement, financial controls and the governance framework.

Overview of strategic risk

The FCDO Management Board oversees the principal risks to our performance and reputation. They consider 7 categories of risk, monitoring risk exposure against risk appetite and guiding activities to avoid risks or to mitigate their impacts:

  • strategy and context: Risk arising from pursuing diplomatic and development objectives which are undermined by a changing context. These risks could undermine our delivery, influence and impact
  • delivery: Risk arising from implementation of our core business of diplomacy and development, from weaknesses in influence and engagement, programme delivery, commercial management, resourcing and/or operational support. These risks could undermine our impact, influence and reputation
  • people: Risk arising from weaknesses in leadership and engagement, culture and behaviours, staff capacity and capability and provision of duty of care, potentially impacting on performance and our reputation
  • operations: Risk arising from weaknesses in internal operations which support our core business and wider HMG, including security, legal, technology, information and property risks, potentially impacting delivery, our people and our reputation
  • financial and fiduciary: Risk arising from our funds being used for unintended purposes or not managed in accordance with requirements, commitments and constraints, potentially resulting in poor Value for money, compliance failures and reputational damage
  • safeguarding: Risk arising from failure to establish and maintain strong safeguards to prevent harm to beneficiaries of our programmes or the environment, potentially resulting in ethical or legal violations and reputational damage
  • reputational: Risk arising from political or adverse events, including delivery failures and ethical violations, potentially damaging the FCDO’s and/or the UK’s reputation

The FCDO’s Internal Control Framework outlines our systems and assurances. It covers all FCDO activity ensuring risks are managed to an acceptable level and objectives are met in a way that complies with legislation and government policy, protects staff from harm and UK funds from misuse; and delivers value for money.

Our resources

Our finances:

i. Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL): £9.2 billion

ii. Resource DEL (including depreciation): £7.4 billion

iii. Capital DEL: £1.9 billion

iv. Annually Managed Expenditure (AME): £0.8 billion

Control totals included in this document are in line with those presented in the Main Supply Estimates 2021 to 2022.

Source: Main Supply Estimates 2021 to 2022

Our people

We employ around 17,300 staff in our overseas network, including in 280 embassies, high commissions and other missions. The majority of our workforce are Country Based Staff (employed on a local contract by the embassy, high commission or FCDO office in the country where they work). As at 31 December 2020, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office had 7,514 UK contracted employees.

Source: FCDO workforce management information / Release schedule: quarterly

Breakdown of resource by work

It is not possible to reflect the breakdown of resources by Priority Outcome as the FCDO is not structured in this way. Our resources, both people and projects, often support multiple Priority Outcomes.

C. Priority outcomes delivery plans

1. Shape the international order and ensure the UK is a force for good in the world by: supporting sustainable development and humanitarian needs; promoting human rights and democracy; and establishing common international standards.

Lead minister: The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Senior sponsor: Sir Tim Barrow GCMG LVO MBE, Political Director

Outcome strategy

The FCDO will use its combined diplomatic and development tools to promote and project the UK as a force for good. We will react nimbly to human rights and humanitarian law violations, including by taking action in multilateral fora. Where appropriate we will also act through our new sanctions regimes. We will use ODA to support girls’ education, promote freedom of media to investigate, report and respond effectively to humanitarian crises and reduce the risk of famines. We will encourage other donors to do the same.

Our G7 and COP26 presidencies will help us to garner global action on climate change, protect democratic values and preserve the space for resilient and open societies to flourish.

We will reinforce and renew the pillars of the international order, shaping these so that open societies and economies can flourish. We will use economic cooperation to enable developing countries’ integration into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment partners for the future. We will also shape the open international order as it develops in future frontiers, including space and cyberspace, ensuring effective accountability and oversight but opposing the overreach of state control.

The FCDO will support the fair and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and mitigate the indirect health impacts of COVD-19 by supporting delivery of essential health services. We will work towards the manifesto commitment of ending preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children by 2030. We will invest in priority countries to strengthen health systems; promoting Universal Health Coverage, including sexual and reproductive health rights, nutrition, water, sanitation, handwashing and hygiene; and tackle major communicable diseases.

FCDO leadership on education, gender equality and inclusion, including our co-hosting with Kenya of the 2021 Global Education Summit, will mobilise investment and commitment by other countries. We will support governments on the policy and system reform that gets children learning and supports the most marginalised. We will make targeted investments in global initiatives on education, gender equality and inclusion, and champion evidence of what works.

The UK will continue to stand up for human rights around the world as a force for good, including by promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief for all. We will increase our efforts to protect open societies and democratic values where they are being undermined. We will seek to end the practice of the arbitrary detention of foreign nationals to exercise leverage over another government.

Media freedom is a key barometer of the democratic health of societies, but is under threat. The FCDO will push for increased international support to improve the environment for journalists and independent media. One key aspect of this will be seeking contributions to the Global Media Defence Fund (GMDF), which funds projects that protect free media when under threat, and supports journalists, especially women journalists, to get access to specialised legal advice when under threat of persecution, arrest or incarceration.

Tackling climate change and halting biodiversity loss is one of our foremost international priorities. We will combine our international leadership through COP26 and our G7 Presidency with our development programming to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon global economy, protect and restore biodiversity and support adaptation and resilience – particularly for the most vulnerable worldwide.

Through UK humanitarian and social protection spend and influence we will work to make responses to crises and famines increasingly efficient, effective, inclusive and sustainable supporting the Foreign Secretary’s famine Call to Action. We will champion International Humanitarian Law and provide principled humanitarian assistance in crises and to prevent famines, prioritising the people most in need. We will invest in preparedness and resilience, including through social protection, to reduce poverty and prevent future risks.

Our performance metrics

  • mortality rates in children under 5 and new-borns in countries reflect the UK’s priority countries in this area. Data source: UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation / Data release schedule: annually with a one year lag; 2020 data will be released in autumn 2021

  • number of girls in school and percentage change of girls reading by age 10 in FCDO-backed countries. Girls in school - Data source: UNESCO Institute of Statistics / Data release schedule: annually in September. Girls reading by age 10 - Data source: World Bank / Data release schedule: every 2 years, an update is due in 2021
  • number of journalists to have benefitted from the GMDF. Data is provided by UNESCO
  • number of people supported by the FCDO to cope with the effects of climate change. Data source: UK Climate Finance Results / Data release schedule: annually in August. International climate finance is jointly delivered with BEIS and Defra and is therefore reported as HMG data
  • levels of clean energy capacity (megawatts) installed with FCDO support. Data source: UK Climate Finance Results / Data release schedule: annually in August. International climate finance is jointly delivered with BEIS and Defra and is therefore reported as HMG data
  • number of people reached through FCDO humanitarian and social protection support (food, cash and voucher transfers).

Outcome evaluation

Alongside our comprehensive, robust and reoccurring evaluation and monitoring practices for ODA investments (e.g. annual reviews), we will monitor at the portfolio level to ensure the FCDO Delivery Framework outputs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are being met and represent good value for money.

How our work contributes to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):

Priority outcome Link to SDGs
PO1: Shape the international order and
ensure the UK is a force for good in the world by supporting sustainable development and humanitarian needs, promoting human rights and democracy, and establishing common international standards
SDG 1: No Poverty (Target 1.3)
  SDG 2: Zero Hunger (Targets 2.1, 2.2, 2.5)
  SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being (Targets 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.7, 3.8)
  SDG 4: Quality Education (Target 4.5)
  SDG 5: Gender Equality
  SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy (Target 7.a)
  SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth (Target 8.4)
  SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (Target 9.5)
  SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities (Target 10.2)
  SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (Targets 11.5, 11.b)
  SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production (Target 12.2)
  SDG 13: Climate Action (Target 13.1)
  SDG 15: Life on Land (Targets 15.5, 15.a)
  SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Targets 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.7, 16.10, 16.a, 16.b)

2. Make the UK safer and more resilient to global threats

Lead minister: The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Senior Sponsor: Thomas Drew CMG, Director General, Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan

Outcome strategy

The international security environment is deteriorating. Strategic geopolitical competition is intensifying, changing the nature of threats we must detect and counter and widening the geographic spread of where we need to work on security concerns. COVID-19 has highlighted the convergence of economic, health and security risks and the importance of supporting British people to stay safe abroad.

The FCDO will play a critical role in strengthening international security and making the UK safer and more resilient to global threats. Our capacity to prevent, deter, respond to and mitigate most threats relies on our relationships and influence abroad. We will coordinate the delivery of activity and relationships overseas to protect and promote UK resilience and a resilient global system.

We will manage threats by doing more upstream to address the things that harm our interests before they reach the UK. This will include anticipating, mitigating and adapting to new threats, including from natural hazards, climate change, serious and organised crime, illicit finance, migration, terrorism, WMD proliferation and use, emerging technologies, cyber-attacks and future pandemics. We will reaffirm our commitment to NATO and Euro-Atlantic security.

We will build on the landmark UK-led UN General Assembly resolution 75/36 on reducing space threats through responsible behaviours, aiming to reduce the risk of miscalculation leading to conflict in or from space. We will also play an active role in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

We will draw on development and diplomatic expertise to respond to COVID-19, and support vaccines provision in developing countries through the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC). We are one of the largest bilateral donors contributing £548m of ODA, which is helping to provide supply of 1bn doses for up to 92 developing countries in 2021.

We will develop clearer areas of UK specialism in addressing conflict and instability, better aligning our tools and capabilities. We will lead and contribute to effective international efforts to prevent, manage and support transition out of conflict, as a force for good.

We will provide a resilient and professional consular service for all, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We will help British people living and travelling abroad take responsibility for their safety, continue our focus on empathetic support to meet the needs of vulnerable British people and their families and strengthen the resilience of our network to respond to global crises.

We will continue to lead the UK Government’s enduring support to the Overseas Territories and their peoples. We will build resilient Overseas Territories with good governance and prosperous communities, better able to respond to crises. We will help protect their precious natural environments and demonstrate the British family as a force for good in the world.

Our performance metrics

  • customer satisfaction with Consular Services (per cent) Data is tracked internally based on information gathered from the network
  • volume of threats, including cyber threats, to the UK and to key partners or Allies from hostile actors that have been stabilised or reduced [To be amended throughout Spending Review Period therefore dataset not provided]
  • number of people from the highest priority populations fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines supplied through the COVAX AMC Data source: WHO/Unicef reporting for GAVI immunisation will publish a dashboard in May or June 2021 / Data release schedule: at least every 6 months, the first report is expected at the end of June 2021. ‘Highest priority populations’ includes health workers, older people, persons with underlying health conditions and other target groups such as essential workers. ‘Fully vaccinated’ assumes a 2 dose regimen.

Outcome evaluation plan

Alongside our comprehensive, robust and reoccurring evaluation and monitoring practices for ODA investments (e.g. annual reviews), we will monitor at the portfolio level to ensure the FCDO Delivery Framework outputs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are being met and represent good value for money.

How our work contributes to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):

Priority Outcome Link to SDGs
PO2: Make the UK safer and more resilient to global threats SDG 1: No Poverty (Target 1.5)

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being (Targets 3.3, 3.8)

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities (Target 10.7)

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (Target 11.5)

SDG 13: Climate Action (Target 13.1)

SDG 14: Life Below Water

SDG 15: Life on Land

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Targets 16.1, 16.4, 16.a)

3. Extend and amplify the UK’s influence in the world, including through successful application for ASEAN dialogue partner status

Lead minister: The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Senior sponsor: Jenny Bates, Director General, Indo-Pacific

Outcome strategy

The UK is a European country with uniquely global interests, partnerships and capabilities. But against the global backdrop of increasing uncertainty, the effectiveness of ‘Global Britain’ will depend upon our ability to extend and amplify the UK’s international influence. We must ensure that the UK is well-placed to make the most of emerging markets, shifts in the global economy and global progress in science and technology.

The FCDO will mobilise our diplomatic and development influence. We will move with greater speed and agility, amplifying our strong independent voice by working with a network of like-minded countries and flexible groupings.

The United States will remain the UK’s most important strategic ally and partner; we will reinforce our cooperation in traditional policy areas such as security and intelligence, and bolster it where we can have greater impact together, such as on climate change and tackling illicit finance.

Our European neighbours and allies will remain vital partners; we will work together to defend our common values, counter shared threats and build resilience in our neighbourhood and seek opportunities to enhance our shared prosperity.

We will sit at the heart of a network of like-minded countries and flexible groupings, committed to protecting human rights and upholding global norms. We will remain a world-leading international development donor, committed to the global fight against poverty and to achieving the UN SDGs by 2030. We will support others to become more self-sufficient through trade and economic growth and increase our ability to achieve long-term change through combining our diplomatic and development expertise.

We will pursue deeper engagement in the Indo-Pacific in support of shared prosperity and regional and global stability, with stronger diplomatic, development, security and trading ties with partners in the region. We will seek closer relations through existing institutions such as ASEAN, where we aim to gain dialogue partner status, and seek accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). We will be active in Africa, in particular in East Africa and with important partners such as Nigeria. This will include working with the Department for International Trade to improve our trade agreements and unilateral preference scheme. We will have thriving relationships in the Gulf and Middle East based on trade, green innovation and science and technology collaboration, in support of a more resilient region that is increasingly self-reliant in providing for its own security.

We will use the diplomatic network, our aid spending and Arm’s Length Bodies such as the British Council to help strengthen the UK’s influence with other countries. Recognising that the source of much of the UK’s soft power lies beyond the ownership of government, we will foster an environment where businesses, academia and other organisations can meet their international aspirations.

We will use our diplomatic network and influence to help secure comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with priority partners, bring about two-way trade and investment and deepen cooperation on international development.

We will enable developing countries’ integration into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment partners for the future, through economic partnership agreements and an improved unilateral trade preferences scheme that will contribute to poverty reduction and strengthen our supply chains.

We will build on our strategic advantage in Science and Technology to extend our influence, putting it at the heart of our alliances and partnerships.

The City of London is a global financial centre and has a unique role to play in raising the finance needed to develop the high growth economies of the future.

Our performance metrics

Outcome evaluation plan

Alongside our comprehensive, robust and reoccurring evaluation and monitoring practices for ODA investments (e.g. annual reviews), we will monitor at the portfolio level to ensure the FCDO Delivery Framework outputs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are being met and represent good value for money.

The value of private finance mobilised will be measured using the international best practice OECD methodology. Results will be quality assured by partners and FCDO. In addition, the FCDO is at the forefront of building evidence in this area. For CDC Group plc, a major independent evaluation portfolio is being implemented which includes a multi-year evaluation on investment mobilisation.

How our work contributes to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):

Priority Outcome Link to SDGs
PO3: Extend and amplify the UK’s influence in the world, including through successful application for ASEAN dialogue partner status SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Target 16.4)

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals (Targets 17.3, 17.6, 17.8, 17.16)

D. Strategic enablers

Workforce, skills and location

As a new and transforming organisation, the FCDO will prioritise development of an exceptional workforce, while providing flexible policies and processes that enable staff to operate effectively across the world. Transformation presents a unique opportunity to develop a workforce that reflects the organisation’s international requirements, with a people offer that facilitates capability and performance across all parts of the FCDO in the UK and the overseas network.

Core goals for 2021 to 2022 include:

  • a Workforce Plan by autumn 2021 and a People Strategy by spring 2022 *continuing support for staff in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, focused on resilience, wellbeing and agility
  • development of new, integrated pay, reward and allowance policies that provide appropriate compensation for UK and internationally based roles
  • full integration of HR services and enhanced digital HR functional capability through a new cloud-based enterprise resource system, the Hera programme
  • development of a new performance management approach to be implemented from 2022 to 2023
  • delivery of an evidence-based Inclusion Framework, which values difference and supports employees from all backgrounds, locations and roles to develop, participate and use their voices to effect change
  • a Places for Growth plan that delivers our 2025 indicative target agreed with Cabinet Office, in conjunction with our Workforce Plan

People survey engagement score

Year Engagement score
2020 67% FCDO
2019 69% DFID
72% FCO
2018 72% DFID
72% FCO

Source: Civil Service People Survey / Release schedule: annually

Representation of female staff, ethnic minority staff and disabled staff

Year Total number of contracted staff Female Ethnic minority Disabled
2020 7,891 FCDO 52% FCDO 17% FCDO 13% FCDO
2019 2,761 DFID
5,055 FCO
57% DFID
46% FCO
14% DFID
15% FCO
15% DFID
11% FCO
2018 2,529 DFID
4,591 FCO
56% DFID
45% FCO
14% DFID
14% FCO
14% DFID
11% FCO

Source: Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Dashboard / Release schedule: quarterly. The representation rates and headcounts above cannot be used to calculate the number of staff in each category, as staff that have not declared their gender, ethnicity or disability status are not included in our calculations. These figures are for UK Contracted Staff and therefore the table does not include Country Based Staff.

Innovation, technology and data

The FCDO will be a world-leader in the use of digital, data, information and technology to deliver diplomatic and development outcomes around the globe. By 2023 we will have put in place the digital foundations of the new FCDO. We will be on-track to realise our vision of becoming a data-driven organisation by 2025. We will be continuously nurturing our culture of innovation and investing in the structures and staff we need to turn ideas into viable solutions across both our external-facing work and our internal enabling operations.

Specific goals for 2021 to 2022 include:

  • invest in the tools, processes, standards and frameworks needed to enable safe, secure data sharing to support decision making and improve services
  • renew IT systems to automate and fully digitise repetitive manual processes and update outdated legacy IT systems, refocusing civil servants time to higher valued added activities
  • grow the digital and data capabilities needed in a modern and data driven organisation, establishing the new Data, Digital and Technology (DDaT) function within the FCDO and extending a learning and development offer to all staff
  • ensure we have the capacity and the culture to support FCDO staff to test new ideas, take reasonable risks, and learn quickly; establishing a network of innovation champions, providing tailored support to programme and policy teams, and ensuring our governance structures are enablers of innovation
  • build an in-house corporate innovation capability to accelerate the development of new DDaT-focused ideas that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the FCDO’s operations; with an initial prototype of this capability operational by the end of Financial Year 2021 to 2022

Delivery, evaluation and collaboration

The FCDO is seeking to deliver better outcomes by strengthening delivery, evaluation and collaboration. We will bring together the best of ex-DFID and ex-FCO values, culture, passion and delivery. A new Delivery Directorate-General will strengthen the FCDO’s delivery focus and capability, implementing new Delivery, Programme Operating, Risk and Control Frameworks to support efficient and effective delivery of real-world change. We will increase focus on building skills and capability to deliver better outcomes. Evidence and analysis will be at the heart of our approach, increasing the use of science, economic insights and data-led decision making. We will advance and strengthen the use and quality of monitoring and evaluation so that the FCDO’s interventions are more efficient sustainable and have greater impact.

Specific goals for 2021 to 2022 include:

  • strengthening functional expertise and delivery, ensuring adherence to functional standards and effective monitoring of performance
  • engaging all staff in delivering priorities, through a well-understood, efficient and transparent process
  • providing transparent accountability through regular reporting, both within the department, to the centre and parliament
  • using high quality data, analysis and learning to drive evidence-based decision-making, influencing and delivery


The UK is an international leader on climate change. We are committed to taking steps to ensure that the new FCDO puts sustainability at the heart of what we do using innovation and leadership to create different futures. The FCDO aims to improve the sustainability of the FCDO’s operations and lead by example through reducing our environmental impact, transitioning to net zero emissions and minimising our contribution to climate change. We will enable staff to understand their environmental responsibilities and to act appropriately at all times to achieve high standards of environmental sustainability throughout all our operations.

Specific goals for 2021 to 2022 include:

  • meeting our greening government commitments and continue to monitor and track their delivery
  • continuing to ensure that our estate, activities and policies are sustainable and are resilient to climate change
  • progress towards our 2025 goals of ensuring our global estate maximises energy efficiency and reduce building energy costs and consumption by at least 20% and converted 50% of flag vehicle fleet and 25% of non-flag fleet to Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV)

Greenhouse gas emissions

Year Total emission reduction
2020 67% DFID
62% FCO
2019 53% DFID
60% FCO
2018 50% DFID
49% FCO

Source: Greening Government Commitments annual reports / Release schedule: annually

E. Our equality objectives

We will use our diplomatic network, bilateral relationships and prominent voice in national and international fora to mobilise change. There is a strong relationship between inequality, poverty, crises and climate change. For example, we will not achieve our goal on girls’ education without addressing the barriers to girls attending and remaining in school. In addition to our work already set out in this document, we will focus on the following objectives to help us advance equality. We will:

  • empower women and girls to realise their potential, free from the barriers that hold them back – gender inequality and discrimination, poverty, violence against women and girls, child marriage and inadequate sexual and reproductive health services. Delivered through: ODA spend on girls’ education, global leadership at G7, COP26 and Generation Equality Forum, Global Education Summit and work to influence legal and policy changes in partner countries

  • coordinate action against discrimination on the basis of the protected characteristics (gender, disability, sexuality and race) and advance equality, internationally and in all geographies. The UK will increase diplomacy at national and international levels and ensure ODA supports marginalised and minority groups through targeted and mainstreamed programming Delivered through: refreshing the Strategic Vision for Women and Girls and Disability Inclusion strategy, delivery of the UK’s first international LGBT conference in 2022 and the first global Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) strategy on LGBT rights as ERC co-chair with Argentina until 2022

  • build inclusive services, economies and societies by tackling extreme poverty and exclusion, maximising opportunities for the world’s poorest people and addressing discrimination, violence and structural barriers. Delivered through: targeted diplomacy and ODA spend on social protection, disability inclusion, girls’ education, tackling violence against women and girls and ensure that programmes comply with the Gender Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty

  • ensure humanitarian and climate action is more inclusive, effective and sustainable, with people experiencing heightened risks better protected and more resilient. Delivered through: ODA support to humanitarian responses and social protection, policy advocacy and resource mobilisation diplomacy through COP26 Presidency evidence generation and technical advice

The FCDO is also committed to building an inclusive and diverse workforce. We will:

  • develop a new framework for promoting and supporting staff inclusion, which includes diversity commitments and promotion of inclusive behaviours

  • reinforce the systems for talent management and performance management to address the personal and professional development needs and reward performance in line with government and departmental priorities

  • ensure that the FCDO reflects the country we serve by relocating staff, including Senior Civil Service staff, from London

  • continue to remove barriers to recruitment, development and promotion of a diverse workforce