A Labour-run DfID would seek to offer a hybrid approach that focuses on economic, environmental and social development, without ever losing sight of what DfID was created to achieve. I will continue to champion the invaluable work DfID does and ensure the UK does not wane on its foreign aid commitments.
DFID's support for efforts to tackle corruption in developing countries will fall flat if the wider Government does not continue to push for global advances on tax avoidance and tax evasion. If corporations are allowed to continue profiting from the poor, and stashing the proceeds elsewhere, developing country governments will remain unable to provide basic services and their citizens will be forced to engage in petty corruption in order to survive.
The voices we heard in 2016 delivered unexpected political outcomes but I am not sure that we have yet fully understood what the message was. What is abundantly clear is that many people feel short-changed on hope. They want action. We must challenge our current circumstances both by acknowledging where we are and by calling for more and for better - better government, better funding and fairness, better life chances.Following an extraordinary year, here are my revised campaign priorities for the changed world in which we now live.
Over the last week the ever more shrill criticism of international aid found a new target - the practise of giving money directly to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people, otherwise known as cash transfers. The allegation made was that this amounted to setting up UK-funded cashpoints for the poor. However the reality is somewhat different... Giving cash directly to women like Julum and Elphine is not wasteful but it is empowering and effective. We need to be vigilant to always ensure aid money is not being misspent.
Unless there is a serious challenge, Britain is set to increasingly promote a failed model of international trade that will impoverish developing countries still further. It will also likely pursue an aid strategy that supports corporations, neo-liberal economic objectives and wider British foreign policy.
All of these examples have two things in common: they are happening now, and the potential for scale-up is exciting. What's more, most of these 'circular economy' strategies do not feature in countries' existing climate plans. Rolling them out more widely could take us a big step closer towards meeting the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree target.
Humanitarian aid is usually most needed in some of the most difficult places on the planet. These are places that lack what we take for granted such as water, food and safety but instead have plenty of conflict, food insecurity and disease. If you are a child in a place like that life is difficult, often far too short and full of terrible choices.