UK Cabinet Office Consultancy Regarding Overseas Posts

Country / Date: Global (May – July 2020)

Client: UK Cabinet Office

Project objectives:

The Overseas Alignment Review (OAR) undertook an independent review of the current state of alignment between UK Government overseas posts and the UK central departments. In doing so, the OAR considered both strengths in the current model and opportunities to improve it. It sought to understand the impact of recent changes implemented as part of the COVID-19 response and also had to adapt to the in-flight announcement to merge the FCO and DFID into the FCDO. In conducting its assessment, the OAR considered models of alignment followed by other, high-performing diplomatic services (Norway, The Netherlands). Based on this, the OAR provided a constructive assessment of the options for improved future alignment, including analysis of the positives and negatives associated with each option

Project Outcomes:

  • The OAR undertook a large number of workshops with overseas posts around the world. These were selected to provide a cross-selection of posts based on size, location, department mix and thematic focus. In parallel a number of senior level interviews were conducted with London leadership, primarily in FCO, DFID, DIT and Cabinet Office.
  • The OAR developed a final report that provided a strategic assessment of the current state of overseas post alignment and provided recommendations for the future improvement of alignment. This was submitted to senior officials in the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s Office.
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