SDDirect was a core partner and led the gender equality and social inclusion mainstreaming pillar for the DFID-funded Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development (ICED), a £33m catalytic facility designed to accelerate DFID’s infrastructure and cities initiatives across the world to contribute to poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth. Through ICED, SDDirect offered expertise to DFID advisers on how to integrate best practice in women economic empowerment, youth empowerment, violence against women and girls prevention, and disability inclusion into infrastructure and urban programming in practice.
SDDirect’s leadership on the gender and inclusion portfolio was instrumental in the facility’s role shaping DFID’s investments in cities and infrastructure. This approach recognised the need for gender and social inclusion-related interventions in cities to go beyond physical access to identifying to deliver positive and equitable impacts. The ICED programme’s ground-breaking approach to gender and inclusion was highlighted in the UK’s Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI)’s Review of DFID’s Transport and Urban Infrastructure investments (2018).
Launched in January 2016, the facility was managed by a PwC-led Alliance that included SDDirect, Adam Smith International, Arup, Engineers Against Poverty, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and MDY Legal.