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Departmental Responsibilities

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which projects his Department has commissioned from (a) think tanks and (b) charities in each of the last two years for which figures are available; what the aim of each project was; which think tank or charity was commissioned; and how much was paid. (221614)

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have a working definition of ‘think tank’. DFID provides funding to a number of organisations which may be involved in relevant activities, such as policy analysis and research. For example, DFID has a Programme Partnership Agreement with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) for £3.4 million over 2008-11.

DFID also works with a number of other organisations, in the UK and in partner countries, involved in similar work but collation of a full list of relevant projects would incur disproportionate cost.

DFID provides funding to UK charitable civil society organisations (CSOs) in four ways:

Programme Partnership Agreements provide long-term, predictable funding to UK CSOs working in development;

Humanitarian assistance is provided to CSOs to provide relief in emergency situations;

The Civil Society Challenge Fund is open to CSOs working in development to bid for project specific funding of up to £500,000. Details on individual projects are available online at;

Country programmes and central DFID departments may provide funding to, or procure the services of, CSOs working in developing countries to carry out development activities.

Summary figures on DFID funding to UK CSOs are provided in the following table. More detailed data, by organisation, is available in the DFID publications ‘Statistics on International Development 2007’ and ‘Statistics on International Development 2008’. These publications are available online at

DFID expenditure through UK CSOs 2006-07 and 2007-08


Type of funding



Programme Partnership Agreements



Humanitarian assistance



Civil Society Challenge Fund



Country programme and other DFID