Fundamental to our work is our partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
VSO has had a long-standing partnership with DFID for over 50 years and is a trusted delivery partner for DFID in its priority countries around the world. In 2013/14, for example, VSO achieved ‘A’ ratings for significant DFID-funded projects in South Sudan, Rwanda, and Uganda. We have received financial support from DFID for significant numbers of projects globally and in sectors ranging from education, health and livelihoods as well as work to improve disadvantaged groups’ inclusion in society and access to services.
In Nepal, our Sisters for Sisters Education project provides ‘Little Sisters’, aged between 10 to 15 years, with mentoring from ‘Big Sisters’ aged 18 to 25 years. We also work to create a community environment which supports the rights of girls to education including developing teacher and management support for gender friendly school environments. Through this project 7,429 marginalised girls in Nepal will be able to complete a full cycle of education and demonstrate their learning. Additionally, 48 schools will establish gender-friendly school environments benefiting 5,131 marginalised girls during this project.
Our Youth Development programme in northern Uganda is increasing literacy and vocational opportunities having an impact on both youth literacy and employment rates. Through the literacy and core skills area of this programme we are aiming to reach 65,000 young people, while with the vocational training component we are targeting 25,000.
Working together at the leading edge of development
VSO also works with DFID to trial new ways of delivering effective development programmes. This included applying the Payment by Results model through its delivery of the Girls Education Challenge Fund project and increasing the transfer of corporate sector skills through volunteering, as in our new Knowledge Exchange programme launching 1st July 2015.
We are also currently in receipt of a DFID Strategic Grant Agreement (SGA) allowing the entire organization to invest in core work and changes across all of VSO to achieve better development results.
Our partnership with DFID extends beyond funding - VSO contributed to DFID’s review of its Strategic Vision for Women and Girls as well as negotiations around the 58th Session of the Commission of Status of Women, and is working to secure strong commitments as on women’s rights as part of our Post 2015 work.
International Citizen Service
VSO is also leading the delivery of DFID’s International Citizen Service (ICS) programme in consortia with a range of other international non-governmental organisations, which works to increase the involvement of young people in development.