The Foreign Office 2021’s Integrated Review: Yay or Nay?

The Pandemic has certainly changed the face of society as we know it for the foreseeable future. Although ‘cataclysmic’ in nature, the Pandemic has not only disrupted every walk of life, it has also exposed certain societal gaps – that should be addressed. The inherent lockdown has highlighted certain health and learning inequalities and we are keen to support the public and emergency services to bridge and close the gap and to build the inclusive UK that works for everyone. This is why we welcome the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Integrated Review Report, 2021.

The Integrated Review

The Review is a comprehensive articulation of the UK’s national security and international policy. It outlines three fundamental national interests that bind together the citizens of the UK – sovereignty, security and prosperity – alongside the UK’s values of democracy and its commitment to universal human rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and faith, and equality. (GOV.UK)

The latest report (2021) stresses the importance of deepening the UK’s relationships with allies/partners at home and around the world, as well as moving more swiftly and with greater agility.

The report suggests:

  • an emphasis on openness as a source of prosperity
  • a more robust position on security and resilience
  • a renewed commitment to the UK as a force for good in the world
  • an increased determination to seek multilateral solutions to challenges like climate change

Achieved by:

  • Sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology
  • Shaping the open international order of the future
  • Strengthening security and defence at home and overseas
  • Building resilience at home and overseas

Read the full report here

The final report is the product of a year of work that included government agencies and consultation with a wide range of external organisations and thinkers through a call for evidence. The call for evidence was initiated on the 13th of September 2020, and it is part of a wider effort to ensure the Integrated Review is informed by a strong and diverse evidence base. The report sets out a vision for Global Britain up until 2025. Read the call for evidence with the link.


Read the full report here

Broadway Junior School, Apapa

The Benefits of The Integrated Review

The review informs the UK’s future policy-making for all government departments. It will also inform future spending reviews, offering further and improved opportunities to align resources with sovereign ambition and values over the long term. The Government has promised to ensure that all Government and Third Sector instruments will work together, coordinated by enhanced strategic capabilities at the core, to achieve the set objectives.

Abroad, there are also benefits for the Commonwealth Nations that we serve dearly. For instance, the Union Jack fly next to the Nigerian Flag in 26% of Private (and Montessori) schools in Lagos State, Nigeria – and the British Council is actively Connecting Classrooms in the country. This is where our interest lay.

Hubert Ogunde Memorial School, Ogun State

What it means for IFB Gaming

In 2020, we supported 10 private schools and 100+ teachers with digital inclusion and remote learning design in Nigeria. This year, we have partnered with NHS Digital and we actively supported the usability testing of the COVID-19 content on NHS.UK and GOV.UK websites in March 2021. We aim to amplify our calls for partnership in the coming months with the next call scheduled to begin in the first week of May (the 4th).

At IFB Gaming, the report supports:

Continuity and Sustainability Planning – Something reassuring about knowing that there is support for our Commonwealth (West Africa) programme back at home in the UK

Connectivity and Reporting – Opportunity to once again align our activities and field operations to national goals and value systems.

NHS Digital has taken that all-important first step – we should now follow NHS Digital’s footsteps.

Cohesion & Integration – There is a lot of work going on in our communities but they often exist and achieve in silos ending up unreported

Following our collective experience of the Pandemic at home and abroad, we welcome the holistic focus on strategic partnership and allies and we hope that our collective efforts are diverse and positively deliberate with solid evidence-bases.

We especially welcome the development because of the continued focus on evidence, education and science and technology. This inherently has its own benefits as the UK finally withdrew from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community at the end of 31 January 2020.

Scholars’ Crest International School, Lagos State

Published by John Adewole

Senior User Researcher

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