6 May 2021

The government last week informed Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development, that 50% of its FCDO funding would be cut. This cut was across the two programmes that FCDO supported as part of the Aid Connect programme. One programme, whose aim was to support the learning for 13 consortia, was closed completely. 

The remaining programme, Bond’s Civil Society Collective programme, was cut by nearly 50%. This was funded by UK Aid Connect and sought to help strengthen civil society organisations' ability to adapt to fast-changing environments, including adapting programmes to COVID-19. The funding also supported the organisation's efforts to advocate for better humanitarian and development policies and practices on behalf of the sector, as well as encouraging collaboration amongst NGOs. The funding covered part of the organisation's safeguarding work, as well its work convening organisations in their efforts to push for aid transparency, secure civil society representation both with the UK government and on global platforms such as the G7, advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as hosting a joint government-NGO Humanitarian Task Force.

Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development, said:

“UK Aid Connect allowed Bond to help make UK civil society better coordinated and more effective and has helped us maintain a strong and thriving network. Over the years, Bond has brought the sector together to provide a united voice and delivered support and services to NGOs, big and small, in areas such as safeguarding, advocacy and fundraising. We will now need to weigh up how we will continue to deliver these important areas of work.

However, the reality is, the government's cuts to Bond's work are nowhere near as devastating as the cuts many NGOs are facing to programmes around the world that keep girls safe and in school, deliver healthcare, as well as food and clean water to people facing war or global pandemics in countries like Yemen and India.

Regardless of the government's cuts to Bond, with support from our members and our other donors, we will continue to support the humanitarian and development sector in their crucial efforts to help make the world a fairer, safer, healthier and more sustainable place.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

1. The Learning from Consortia programme was due to run from April 2020- December 2021 (21 months) and brought together 13 consortia formed by diverse organisations to facilitate collective learning and support consortia to deliver their outcomes. The programme aimed to learn from their experiences and insights to draw out good practice in consortium working, as well as helping donors understand how they can best support consortia. The programme is led by Bond and The Partnering Initiative, along with an academic advisory board. The consortia are all supported by the UK’s Aid Connect funding stream. We were just about a year into the programme and had 8 months remaining when the news came in and we were in the process of completing our Year 1 progress report.  

2.    Bond’s Civil Society Collective (CSO) programme, funded by UK Aid Connect, worked to:
a.    Empower CSOs by developing their capability to respond to changing humanitarian and development needs.    
b.    Achieve greater shared value through collaboration between CSOs and with other development actors. 
c.    Drive CSOs’ advocacy to contribute to sustainable positive change internationally. 
d.    Provide UK organisations working in international development and humanitarian assistance with a strong and thriving network of support.
The programme is delivered in collaboration with the three other UK platforms: Scotland’s International Development Alliance, Hub Cymru Africa and CADA Northern Ireland, and with Bond’s partners: the South West International Development Network and The Partnering Initiative. 

3.    For further information or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]