Policy paper

International Development Strategy: call for evidence

Published 27 July 2021

This policy paper was withdrawn on

This call for evidence has closed. Thank you to everyone who contributed.


The International Development Strategy (the Strategy) will set out the government’s approach to international development over the next decade. It will ensure close alignment of UK development activity with the objectives in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (the Integrated Review) from 2022 to 2030. The Strategy will uphold our commitment to be a world leader in international development and demonstrate how this work has a life changing impact in areas of the world that are important to a globally-focussed UK while supporting our long-term national security and prosperity.

The Strategy will restate our commitment to poverty eradication and build on the 7 key priorities for UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021 to 2022:

  • climate and biodiversity
  • global health security
  • open societies and conflict resolution
  • girls’ education
  • humanitarian preparedness and response
  • science and technology
  • trade and economic development

It will also consider the competitiveness of our trade and development offer to developing countries.

Background to this call for evidence

The International Development Strategy was announced in the Integrated Review, published in March 2021. The Prime Minister has commissioned the Foreign Secretary to lead work on the Strategy, which will be cross-government in scope. Publication is planned later this year. This call for evidence forms part of wider engagement with stakeholders on the Strategy and will add to evidence already collected as part of the Integrated Review.

Integrated Review framing

As laid out in the Integrated Review:

The UK is one of the world’s leading development actors, committed to the global fight against poverty, to achieving the SDGs by 2030 and to maintaining the highest standards of evidence and transparency for all our investments.

As one of the world’s largest providers of ODA – well above Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) averages – we will focus our aid work on areas that are important to a globally-focused UK and where we can have the greatest life-changing impact in the long term. We will maintain our commitment to Africa, with a particular focus on East Africa and on important partners such as Nigeria, while increasing development efforts in the Indo-Pacific.

We will ensure that all UK ODA is aligned to the Paris Agreement, reflecting our commitment to tackling climate change and its effects as a driver of future instability and poverty. We will maintain a liberal approach to economic development, creating greater opportunities for all and modelled on open societies. We will more effectively combine our diplomacy and aid with trade, working with our partners to adapt our offer. As governments become able to finance their own development priorities, we will gradually move towards providing UK expertise in place of grants and using a variety of financing models to tackle regional challenges in our mutual interests.

The UK will continue to champion International Humanitarian Law and humanitarian access, and provide principled humanitarian assistance at moments of crisis. We will maintain our capacity to respond to unanticipated events, fund bilateral and multilateral programmes in humanitarian hotspots and lead a global campaign to protect 20 million people from catastrophic famine. To support this, we will seek to reform and strengthen the international humanitarian system, and promote the use of digital technology to provide faster and cheaper support to those affected by crises.


In delivering on these ambitions, the International Development Strategy will consider how the UK government’s development work can best respond to a changing context; what success would look like in 2030; and where, how and with whom the UK is best placed to deliver.

To address these questions, we wish to involve stakeholders with an interest and role in the UK’s development work. We would therefore welcome submissions of evidence on the questions below:


The Integrated Review identified 4 key trends that will shape the international environment to 2030:

i. Geopolitical and geo-economic shifts: such as China’s increasing power and assertiveness internationally and the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific

ii. Systemic competition: the intensification of competition between states and with non-state actors, manifested in the formation of competing geopolitical and economic blocs of influence and values

iii. Rapid technological change: technological developments and digitisation will reshape our societies, economies and change relationships – both between states, and between the citizen, the private sector and the state

iv. Transnational challenges: such as climate change, global health risks, illicit finance, serious organised crime, and terrorism

Question 1: How might progress on international development to 2030 be impacted by the trends identified in the Integrated Review? How should the UK respond?


The Integrated Review identified 4 UK strategic objectives:

  • sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology
  • shaping the open international order of the future
  • strengthening security and defence at home and overseas
  • building resilience at home and overseas

Question 2: What could success in 2030 look like in terms of meeting the needs of the poorest and most marginalised and increasing opportunities for countries to become self-sustaining?

Question 3: How and where can wider UK government international policy and activity best support long-term international development outcomes?

Question 4: How and where can government work on development best support the UK’s wider strategic objectives set out in the Integrated Review?

UK leadership

Question 5: In what area of international development does the UK have comparative advantage, particular interests, or is best placed to deliver?


Question 6: How should the UK’s approach evolve to build partnerships with new actors and strengthen existing ones?

Call for evidence

Submissions of evidence are invited as part of the Strategy development process. To make a submission, complete the call for evidence form and email it in a text document format (eg. odt or docx) to IDSCallForEvidence@fcdo.gov.uk by 11:59pm on Monday 6 September 2021. Early responses are encouraged.

Further information

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