Department for International Development: Machinery of Government

dfid logo

Client: Department for International Development (DFID)

Programme: Machinery of Government

(Delivered (to date) in Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Ghana, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, 2012 – ongoing)

The client

The Department for International Development, often referred to as DFID, is a UK government department leading the UK’s efforts to end extreme poverty. The department aims to end “the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit.”

The problem

DFID personnel are stationed all over the world and as such the department wanted to ensure that all staff had a uniform approach to dealing with ministers including producing written briefings, submissions and ministerial replies. They also wanted to strengthen staff knowledge of the processes of UK Government and Parliament.

Our actions

As one of the leading providers of training to the UK Government, we were able to draw on the successes of past skills and knowledge programmes and tailor them to suit DFID’s needs.

We devised a two and a half day programme intended for staff with little or no experience of the workings of ministers and production of written submissions, correspondence and replies to Parliamentary Questions. Grounded in the context of the time, we designed a programme that would also be relevant to staff who wished to refresh their skills as it focused on the needs of the coalition government in the UK and changing political landscape.

Pre- and post-event learning were provided to supplement the face-to-face workshop to ensure that the needs of Staff Appointed in Country, and who are new to the UK Civil Service, were fully met.


Owing to its widespread success, the Machinery of Government programme has since been rolled out in numerous countries in DFID offices in Africa and Asia.

Further, other Government departments have since approached Dods Training to design and deliver the Machinery of Government programme for their own staff.