23 June 2021

Independent Commission for Aid Impact approves CDC’s approach to development impact and learning

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has today endorsed CDC’s approach to development impact and learning. Over the past year, the Commission has undertaken a follow-up review of their 2019 report into CDC’s investments in low-income and fragile states. Today’s report concludes that the independent aid scrutiny body is content with CDC’s progress and trajectory.

The ICAI report found:

“After three years of close engagement between ICAI and CDC, this year’s follow-up review has been able to conclude that CDC’s investment decisions now address development impact throughout the investment cycle and consideration of impact is driving active management of investments to a much greater extent than before the ICAI review.” ICAI, para 3.11, page 12.

It went on to say:

“There have been clear improvements to CDC’s approach to achieving development impact since the fieldwork for the original ICAI review in 2018. CDC’s investment decisions now emphasise development impact much more. The consideration of impact is driving active management of investments to a much greater extent than before the ICAI review. We also found strong evidence that CDC’s new M&E [monitoring and evaluation] mechanisms are being applied and are feeding into learning. CDC is now a more reflective organisation with the systems, processes and culture in place to learn from good quality M&E about how to promote development impact through its investments. We found a few (albeit important) areas for improvement but are confident that CDC will reflect on the critical points we make and improve.” ICAI para 4.87, page 30.

CDC recognises the value of independent scrutiny of our performance. It is vital for accountability and for providing insight that helps us to learn and improve as an organisation. We are delighted with the Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s conclusions. We are also pleased ICAI has recognised CDC’s positive and proactive engagement with its review process. ICAI rightly outlines the positive learning journey CDC has been through, and we remain committed to working closely with public scrutiny bodies.

The full ICAI report is available here.

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