U.K.’s New Secretary Of State For International Development Can Boost Development Leadership, Impact In 4 Key Ways

Devex: Opinion: How DFID’s new leader can translate development leadership into impact
Alex Thier, executive director of the Overseas Development Institute

“Penny Mordaunt, the United Kingdom’s new secretary of state for international development, has hit the ground running. She has sent a strong signal that she believes in aid. She has embraced her department and its mission, told parliament that the U.K. is committed to getting aid into the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and visited the violently displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh. She has swiftly moved to demonstrate the Department for International Development’s commitment to leave no one behind by announcing a global disability summit next year. For a big leadership impact, however, DFID’s new leader needs to turn these initial instincts into a bold agenda. … [H]ow can the new secretary of state burnish the U.K.’s development leadership and impact? 1. Change the tone of the recent conversation in the U.K. about aid: Focus on the positive, acknowledge the challenges. … 2. Focus on how to maximize the impact of U.K. aid. … 3. Pick some core themes and set goals around them. … 4. Love the department, embrace the people, and give them the tools they need to succeed…” (12/11).