Policy paper

Raising the standard: the Multilateral Development Review 2016

The Multilateral Development Review is a detailed assessment of how UK funded multilateral agencies perform.


African Development Bank (AfDB)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)

Climate Investment Funds (CIFs)

Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec)

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Green Climate Fund (GCF)


UN Women

World Bank (WB)

World Food Programme (WFP)

World Health Organisation (WHO)


The Multilateral Development Review examines 38 agencies which receive more than £1 million of annual core funding from DFID. It assesses their organisational strength and alignment to UK objectives and sets out the UK’s vision for reform of the multilateral system. Agencies were scored in a range of areas, allowing their performance to be compared.

Key points:

  • by encouraging multilateral agencies to collaborate the UK has helped produce incredible results. For example Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, worked with UNICEF to order vaccines in bulk, which saved approximately £900 million over the past 5 years. Gavi’s UK supported vaccine programmes saved the lives of more than 4 million children between 2011 and 2015
  • reviewing the multilateral system has real impact. For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was put into special measures after the 2011 Multilateral Aid Review. Since then they modernised their management structure and delivered over US$100 million of efficiency savings between 2011 and 2015
  • the UK government expects and insists that every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent in an efficient, transparent and demonstrably effective way. DFID is therefore introducing improvement plans for poor performing agencies

Read the news story

Summaries of every agency’s assessment are included on this page.

Published 1 December 2016