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Our partnership with the UK Department for International Development is fundamental to our work.

DFID is responsible for leading the UK Government’s contribution to the international effort to reduce poverty within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Towards this end, it works as part of a wider international effort, collaborating with multi-lateral organisations, government institutions, civil society, academic institutions and the business community. DFID is a leader in promoting a results-based development agenda that provides value for money, transparency and independent scrutiny of development spending. Its development policy is increasingly focusing on the least developed countries and fragile states, on supporting countries to lead their own development agenda and on the increasing role of the private sector.


DFID believes international volunteering makes a significant and distinctive contribution to development, in particular by reaching marginalised communities through the long-term partnerships that VSO has in many countries. VSO and DFID share a focus on strengthening the voice of the poor and marginalised in decisions that affect their rights and their lives, especially in how basic services are delivered.

Visit the DFID website for more information.

VSO’s strategic grant agreement

In April 2011 VSO signed a new three-year strategic grant agreement with DFID. This agreement will deliver £30 million in 2011/12, £26 million in 2012/13 and will receive £22 million in 2013/14. VSO greatly values our partnership with DFID and their ongoing support.  As part of our strategic grant agreement with DFID, VSO is not only committed to delivering results on the ground through pro-poor programmes in some of the poorest countries in the world, but also to the value-for-money agenda that is looking critically at how effectively we deliver our programmes. VSO is therefore undergoing a change agenda that is delivering improved operational effectiveness, improved systems to monitor, evaluate and learn from what we do, and a diversification of our funding base.

VSO’s partnerships with DFID

VSO also has country-based partnerships with DFID in countries where we share thematic priorities, in particular in education, health and livelihoods. Notably VSO is delivering new programmes in partnership with DFID Africa offices in South Sudan and northern Uganda and has ongoing funding in countries as diverse as Malawi, Sierra Leone and India. VSO is also leading the delivery of DFID’s £54.6m International Citizen Service (ICS) programme in consortia with a range of other international non-governmental organisations.