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Evaluating the added value of core funding to civil society

Itad was commissioned to review and evaluate the effects of core funding on NGOs that receive funding through DFID’s Programme Partnership Agreements.


Core funding is in high demand among civil society. Core funding is long term support, untied to any specific project or programmes.  Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) argue that it provides them with the space to invest in strengthening organisational systems, to respond flexibly to emerging needs and to invest in difficult to fund regions and issues.

Our role

In an environment of increasing budget constraints however, donors are asking questions about its added value and want evidence for why it is so important.  To help to build this evidence base Itad was commissioned by a consortium of UK and international NGOs that receive funding through DFID’s Programme Partnership Agreements (PPA), to review and evaluate the evidence on the effects of core funding.

Our approach

We conducted a meta-evaluation of 39 independent evaluations that had been commissioned by the PPA agencies to identify the key strengths and weaknesses of core funding, the prevalence of these across PPA agencies and the quality and robustness of the evidence to support them.  Where evidence was strongest, we conducted a series of four in-depth case studies of how and in what ways unrestricted funding has benefited particular CSOs.

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Team members