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The FCDO: is the reunification of foreign and development policy working?

Sir Alan Duncan and Sarah Champion MP joined us for this event on whether the FCO and DfID merger has been a success.

Cargo from UK Aid is loaded on to an Antonov An-12B aircraft at East Midlands Airport as part of the UK government's humanitarian response to the crisis in Iraq

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was created by the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DfID) in 2020. Since then, the department has implemented a substantial cut to the UK’s aid budget, dealt with the foreign policy implications of Brexit, handled the UK’s presidency of the G7 and the COP climate conference, and responded to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But has the merger of the FCO and DfID been a success? Are the prime minister’s objectives being achieved by the FCDO? Does the department have good relations with the rest of government? And what lessons does the FCDO need to learn to ensure it can achieve the UK’s global priorities?

To discuss all this we were joined by:

  • Sir Alan Duncan, former Minister of State at DfID and FCO
  • Sarah Champion MP, Chair of the International Development Committee
  • Lord McDonald, former Permanent Under Secretary at the FCO
  • Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive Officer at Bond

This event was chaired by Tim Durrant, Associate Director at the Institute for Government.


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