The prime minister’s announcement that DfID and the FCO will be merged into the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), is one of the biggest shake-ups of how the UK conducts foreign policy in decades.

How will the merger affect the UK’s future foreign and development policy, particularly in the world of coronavirus? What are its implications for the aid budget? And how can the new organisation preserve the strengths of both its predecessor departments?

On the panel to discuss these questions were:

  • Sarah Champion MP, Chair of the International Development Select Committee
  • James Cowan, CEO of the HALO Trust
  • Lord Kerr, former Permanent Under Secretary of State of FCO and British Ambassador to the US

The event was chaired by Tim Durrant, Associate Director at the Institute for Government.

To read more about HALO's approach to the Government's planned change please download our latest policy brief, An Agenda for Global Britain. This calls on the government to place conflict prevention and peace building, environment and resilience at the heart of its Global Britain strategy. It is time to match the UK’s leadership in sustainable development with a new focus on the drivers of poverty and conflict, including weapons and fragility.

The new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office should combine the best of DFID and the FCO and draw on the UK’s leading NGOs, think tanks, academia and commercial partners. And it should champion the principles of transparency and accountability, impact and value for money in aid spending.

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