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Comments

Jane

A very interesting read, David, thanks. A pity some people have to wait until retirement to make their views known though. I hope we get to see the reply!

Neil Robertson, Scotland

this is quite devastating stuff ... and interestingly the letter seems to reflect concerns of a large number of experts within this sector reluctant to put their heads above parapets with open criticism of British Council; when such authoritative voices were raised recently in Scotland against Creative Scotland this became front page news and senior managers including the CEO and his deputy who used to work for British Council resign.

John

I worked for a time for the UK Department for International Development and have first hand experience of the BC's confusing status. One day I might be meeting with BC staff at the weekly meeting hosted by the Ambassador. The next day the same BC member of staff would be asking me about contract opportunities with DFID. I and my colleagues found the way that the BC staff tried to wear different hats very confusing. The result is that the BC wins a lot of DFID contracts and then, in my experience, does a very poor job of managing them (as it does not have development expertise).

David

Thank you John. My experience too. I went once as a consultant for DFID to the Yemen to report on a project that the BC were managing for them and it was a disaster because it was not only appallingly managed, but the BC had consistently reported it as a success. It finally fell apart and the entire investment was wasted.

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