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Aid and Development

6. UK Aid Debates

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about recent developments and debates in UK aid policy, focusing in particular on: (i) the creation of the Department for International Development (DFID) in 1997 and efforts to separate aid administration from political influence; (ii) attempts since 2015 to bring aid back under the control of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), culminating in DFID’s formal merger back into the FCO in 2020; (iii) the global rise of “aid nationalism” and what can be done to challenge its impacts on aid policy.


In this course, Dr Nilima Gulrajani (Overseas Development Institute) explores global aid and its relationship to development. In the first lecture, we consider the emergence of the modern global aid system from mid-twentieth century. In the second lecture, we think about states’ motivations for giving aid and the proliferation of aid providers from the global south. In the third lecture, we look at how aid is defined, focusing especially on the Development Assistance Committee’s definition of Overseas Development Assistance. Next, we focus on aid effectiveness and the debate between aid radicals, who argue that aid should be discontinued, and aid reformers who seek to improve the aid system. In the fifth lecture, we look at aid reform. In the sixth and final lecture, we consider UK aid policy and the global rise of aid nationalism.


Dr Nilima Gulrajani is a Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. She has written very widely on international development assistance, and her expertise includes the management and governance of aid assistance, aid effectiveness, and principled aid.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gulrajani, N. (2021, August 23). Aid and Development - UK Aid Debates [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gulrajani, N. "Aid and Development – UK Aid Debates." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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