Nearly a quarter of the spending went on student fellowships, including £110,000 for a biography of the Boer leader Paul Kruger, £98,810 for a student to examine the work of Roman statesman and orator Cicero and £72,816 on postgraduate studies of jazz in the Western Cape.
It said the business department failed to provide “effective oversight or management, resulting in blurred accountability, a lack of transparency and weak coordination within and across country partnerships”.
Lis Wallace, UK policy and advocacy manager for ONE, a global campaigning organisation, said: “Yet again it comes as no surprise to see this vital money is used best when spent by DFID – the world’s pre-eminent aid agency – and is used worst by departments without the same level of specialist skills or knowledge.
“There is a real risk of the international aid budget becoming a case of too many cooks, with spending spread across a number of government departments, without sufficient expertise, coordination or scrutiny.”
Claire Godfrey, head of policy and campaigns at UK NGO network Bond, said DFID should have oversight of all foreign aid spending.
“This is the best way of ensuring that aid is used to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people so we can continue to champion our record on poverty reduction on the international stage,” she said.
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Allocating £14bn UK aid budget across government means the world’s poor miss out – The Telegraph