Director of Centre for the Study of Global Ethics' evidence published in Government Committee report

The Director of the University’s Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, Dr Jonathan Parry, has had the evidence he submitted to an inquiry undertaken by the Parliamentary International Development Committee (IDC) into Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector published as part of the full report.

Dr Parry’s written submission to the committee’s research was submitted after the University’s Public Affairs team got in touch with him and suggested he do so.

The IDC is primarily responsible for holding the Department for International Development (DFID) to account over the effectiveness of its spending, administration and policies. This inquiry was focused upon DFID’s performance in ensuring that UK humanitarian relief, and official development assistance, is delivered with maximum impact according to its aims and objectives and – at the very least – without ignoring, tolerating, or contributing to, circumstances in which the exploitation or abuse of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people can take place.

The Committee’s key concern was allegations of aid sector workers, peacekeepers, or others supported by UK aid in recipient countries sexually exploiting the intended recipients and beneficiaries of humanitarian and development aid.  It also looked into proposals for new approaches to safeguarding within the aid sector to tackle these problems.

Dr Parry’s submission identified that the inquiry should be sensitive to the possibility that its stated goal of reducing complicity in abuse in the aid sector may come into conflict with the goal of maximising aid impact.

He suggested that careful thought must be given to how these two competing goals should be weighed and traded-off, and expert guidance should be sought, and that the inquiry should also consider how to integrate the goal of avoiding complicity in abuse within existing DFID funding allocation principles.

Dr Parry says: “This was an ideal opportunity for myself, and in turn the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, to inform policy makers considering issues with a strong ethical element.”