Women's association gathering in Mali

Strategic funding - Christian Aid's added value

In 2011, Christian Aid was awarded funding for humanitarian and development work under DFID’s Programme Partnership Arrangement (PPA) - a funding mechanism that ran from 2011 to 2016.

This funding allowed us to work with 172 partners to reach 8.4 million people around the world, through 26 programmes on health, humanitarian, livelihoods, resilience and markets. This funding was also intrinsic in allowing us to improve programme quality, practices, share learnings and add value across our work.

PPA strategic funding overview

Value for money

Value for money

Christian Aid strategically used PPA funding to maximise our value for money. In line with DFID’s 4E approach - economy, efficiency, effectiveness, equity - we improved financial monitoring, benchmarking and procurement processes achieving cost savings of £1.5m since 2011.

We enhanced the sharing of good practice, together with learning and programme management skills, to enable the more efficient delivery and measurement of sustainable results.

Our programming approach was incredibly successful, delivering strong outcomes and resulting in high quality, peer-reviewed programming, as demonstrated by the substantial income and influence leveraged. We ensured our work was efficient - documenting and sharing learning across programmes and with the wider sector to ensure best practice can be replicated and mistakes avoided.

Programme quality

Programme quality

We have used learning and evidence to significantly improve our programmes. Learning from the PPA informed the development of our resilience and community health frameworks, which offer more comprehensive, integrated approaches that reflect the complexity of each country we work in.

We invested, for example, in developing our Participatory Market Systems Development (PMSD) approach to inclusive markets work, which has now been used in 16 countries. This in turn informed the development of the Access to Capital for Rural Enterprises (ACRE) Consortium, working with the private sector to address poverty through impact investment.

At the same time, PPA programmes continued to align our work with DFID’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’, by building on our strong gender-sensitive work, and strengthening the inclusiveness of our work to ensure we reach the most vulnerable.


Scalability and leverage

The PPA supported us to leverage over £26m of institutional funding through co-financing and piloting new approaches to scale up and replicate our work.

In Kenya alone, our health programme reach increased from around 226,700 individuals to more than 1.2m between 2011 and 2016.

Several large-scale programmes built on learning from the PPA, including the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme and the UK Aid Match (UKAM) and Global Fund health programmes, which reached more than 2.8 million people.

We also worked with partners and communities to leverage support from local and national governments and organisations, from securing €325,000 to scale up participatory vulnerability and capacity assessments (PVCA) work in Bolivia to technical support in building flood defences in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).



Our partnership approach ensures national- and community-level civil society control their own agendas. Our partners are more than channels for aid delivery - they are driving the changes marginalised people want.

We used the PPA in a number of ways to strengthen this approach, funding guidance and tools to enable countries to develop strong and sustainable partnerships and research such as the Value for People report, in which our partners identified Christian Aid’s support in developing their technical and organisational capacity as one of our key added values.

In Burkina Faso, for instance, we worked with our partners to establish an advocacy group that successfully lobbied for the introduction of national disaster risk reduction legislation.

Evidence and learning

Robust evidence and learning

During the PPA, we tested innovative approaches and developed new tools and methodologies to increase our impact by promoting learning and innovation.

We prioritised initiatives to improve how we learn and understand our impact, from projects to exploit the potential of digital data gathering and analytical technology, to piloting and developing new participatory monitoring and evaluation approaches such as Picture Power.

Evidence from PPA programmes was used to inform sector-wide debates and influence global policy development processes, such as the COP21 UNFCCC talks, the World Humanitarian Summit and the UN Sustainable Development Goals negotiation process.

Accountability and transparency

Accountability and transparency

Accountability and transparency were key elements of the PPA, reflecting our wider organisational commitments. Funds were used to implement and improve accountable practices across Christian Aid, including work to ensure that we met commitments to the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) and then Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS).

In March 2016 Christian Aid was among the first organisations to be granted a CHS certificate of compliance. We delivered training in accountability to Christian Aid programmes and partners and developed data visualisation and information systems to ensure that our work is as open and transparent as possible.

The Truth Truck is an innovative approach aimed at capturing communities' views and experience of aid. We piloted this as part of our efforts to incorporate community feedback to improve the impact of our programme. We fed into the World Humanitarian Summit, calling for greater accountability to people directly affected by disasters.

We began to publish a digital global progress report, which in 2014/15 mapped partner grant expenditure in different countries and provided links to assessments of our work in specific areas.