As the SDSR approaches, and with it the spending review, many government departments are facing significant constraints on their budgets and abilities. In this climate, the ring-fencing of the aid budget has become controversial and questions have been asked about the role aid plays in promoting the UK’s broader foreign policy agenda, security and global economic governance.
This is a critical moment to inform what is a sometimes highly polarised debate. Through this briefing, co-hosted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), two eminent speakers from different backgrounds shared their insights on the place of aid and international development in the SDSR.
Drawing on their direct experience of the complementary nature of the UK's development, diplomatic and defence efforts, the panellists explored the role of aid in defining Britain’s place in the world. At a time of fiscal austerity, they asked whether there are inevitable trade-offs between security interests and aid goals, or whether it is a false dichotomy to set one up against the other. They also discussed ways to ensure effective cooperation between departments in pursuit of shared national objectives.
- Chair: Philip Collins, The Times
- Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fry
- Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP