Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development, has had its funding from the government cut in half, it has revealed.
The cut is across the two programmes that the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office supported as part of the Aid Connect programme.
One programme, with the aim of supporting the learning for 13 consortia, has been closed completely. This, the Learning from Consortia programme, was due to run for 21 months from April 2020-December 2021 and aimed to learn from the experiences and insights of the 13 consortia to draw out good practice in consortium working, as well as helping donors understand how they can best support consortia. The programme is led by Bond and The Partnering Initiative, along with an academic advisory board, with the consortia all supported by the UK’s Aid Connect funding stream.
The other affected programme, Bond’s Civil Society Collective programme, has been cut by nearly 50%. This programme has sought to help strengthen civil society organisations’ ability to adapt to fast-changing environments, including adapting programmes to COVID-19. The funding has also supported the organisation’s efforts to advocate for better humanitarian and development policies and practices on behalf of the sector, as well as encouraging collaboration amongst NGOs.
Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond, said:
“UK Aid Connect allowed Bond to help make UK civil society better coordinated and more effective and has helped us maintain a strong and thriving network. Over the years, Bond has brought the sector together to provide a united voice and delivered support and services to NGOs, big and small, in areas such as safeguarding, advocacy and fundraising. We will now need to weigh up how we will continue to deliver these important areas of work.
“However, the reality is, the government’s cuts to Bond’s work are nowhere near as devastating as the cuts many NGOs are facing to programmes around the world that keep girls safe and in school, deliver healthcare, as well as food and clean water to people facing war or global pandemics in countries like Yemen and India.
“Regardless of the government’s cuts to Bond, with support from our members and our other donors, we will continue to support the humanitarian and development sector in their crucial efforts to help make the world a fairer, safer, healthier and more sustainable place.”