Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the Department for International Development
DFID FOLLOW UP RESPONSE TO THE INTERNATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE INQUIRY OF 18 JUNE 2002
DFID DEPARTMENTAL REPORT 2002
ISSUE 1: PSA
Questions: The PSA target on access to water
appears to show an improvement [Page 44, Box3.g of Departmental
Report]. But the target has been changed from "percentage
of population with access to safe water" to "access
to an improved water source". There would seem to be a big
difference between the two things"improved" is
not the same as "safe". Why was the change made and
how many other PSA targets have been changed? What difference
has the change(s) made?
1. The original "access to safe water"
indicator drew on data compiled by the World Health Organisation
(WHO). In 2000 the WHO stopped producing data on access to safe
water due to concerns over its reliability. They proposed that
the international community use "access to an improved water
source" as a comparable proxy indicator as this is easier
to measure in a consistent way across countries. DFID therefore
brought its PSA target into line with this recommendation.
2. The Committee correctly noted that the
two indicators measure relatively different situations and so
progress is not directly comparable. The WHO and the international
community do, however, use "access to an improved water source"
as a proxy indicator for "access to safe water". DFID
would therefore expect the trends for both indicators to move
in a similar way to indicate improvement or deterioration in the
3. Until 2000, DFID reported good progress
against the "access to safe water" indicator, with an
increase from 72 per cent in 1994 to 77 per cent in 1996. The
trend in "access to an improved water source" indicator
shows a similar improvement from 73 per cent in 1990 to 79 per
cent in 2000.
4. There are no other targets for which
indicators changed during the lifetime of the 1999-2002 PSA, however,
we did change two indicators between the 1999-2002 PSA and 2001-04
PSAs. Firstly, due to difficulties in collecting accurate, regular
data on maternal mortality rates, DFID switched to measuring the
internationally accepted proxy indicator of "births assisted
by skilled birth attendants"for which data is more
5. Secondly, DFID's 2001-04 PSA has dropped
two targets on GDP growth that were in the 1999-2002 PSA. The
population-weighted outcomes of the first target on GDP per capita
growth were largely determined by performance in China, India,
Russia, Indonesia, South Africa and Poland. In all these countries
DFID support is small compared to the size of the overall economy.
Therefore the target was not a very meaningful measure of DFID's
performance. The second target on poorest 20 per cent of the population's
share of GDP was dropped due to infrequent data collection. Changes
in income inequality will be measured in the 2003-06 PSA by looking
at the number of people living on less than $1 per day based on
annual data provided by the World Bank.
ISSUE 2: MATERNAL
Question: Why is maternal mortality no longer
part of the PSA?
6. Maternal mortality is part of the PSA
for 2001-04. The target b) is "an increase in the proportion
of births assisted by skilled attendants from a baseline established
in 2000 of 43 per cent to 50 per cent on the basis of data available
in 2004." The target for increasing the proportion of skilled
attendants at births is an internationally accepted proxy indicator
for maternal mortality.
7. DFID is fully committed to the goal of
reducing maternal mortality, and is supporting a range of relevant
activities and investments. These include: the establishment of
a DFID-wide Maternal Mortality Taskforce; significant support
for research and knowledge programmes concerned with reducing
maternal mortality and for bilateral maternal health projects,
including in Nepal, Malawi and Kenya. DFID is working closely
with World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Family Population
Fund (UNFPA), and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to contribute
to international efforts around maternal mortality reduction.
We have also been involved in the development of the Partnership
for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health. This is a new international
partnership due to be launched towards the end of 2002.
ISSUE 3: REPRODUCTIVE
Questions: What are the reasons for not setting
a specific target for improved access to reproductive health care: "In
1996 global assistance for reproductive health was $68 million.
In 2000, it was $40 million."
8. Reproductive health continues to be a
key priority for DFID and we remain firmly committed to the International
Conference on Population and Development target of achieving access
to reproductive health for all by 2015. We are convinced that
reproductive health and rights are vital to making progress to
attain the Millennium Development Goals to combat HIV/AIDS and
lower maternal and child mortality. We consider it also a basic
right of women and men to exercise informed and responsible choice
in matters related to their sexual and reproductive health. We
are disappointed by the attempts of a small number of states to
roll back international consensus on the reproductive health and
rights of the poor. The Government will continue to work with
the international community to ensure that reproductive health
receives the priority it demands.
9. The PSA does cover reproductive health.
A proxy indicator of increasing contraceptive prevalence supports
this. There is no internationally agreed target for levels of
contraceptive prevalence and we are therefore using the proxy
to track whether the trend is positive or not. We are working
on an improvement on 32 per cent prevalenceThe figure for
2000 was 35 per cent.
10. Our funding for sexual and reproductive
programmes is increasing. Our bilateral expenditure alone has
increased from £38 million in 1997-98 to over £206 million
11. We share Marie Stopes International's
(MSI) concern about the unmet need for reproductive health commodities,
including condoms. However, the figures for donor support for
reproductive health commodities quoted in MSI's memorandum are
inaccurate. In fact, contributions from donors have fallen from
US$172.2 million in 1996 to US$154 million in 2000 (source UNFPA)not
from $68 million to $40 million. The UK is one of the leading
bilateral providers of condoms and other forms of contraceptives
to developing countries. We are also supporting a number of male
and female condom social marketing programmes. We are helping
UNFPA to provide the widest achievable range of safe and effective
family planning and contraceptive methods, including condoms to
prevent HIV/AIDS. In January 2001, we provided UNFPA with a grant
of £25 million to help meet immediate needs for reproductive
health commodities, including condoms, in a range of countries
facing immediate shortages. We have also committed US$200 million
to the Global Fund against AIDS, TB and Malaria. We have not earmarked
our contribution for specific issues, but the Fund is able to
support applications for support to reproductive health commodities.
12. We welcome the involvement of NGOs in
delivering sexual and reproductive health services including commodities.
Specifically on reproductive health commodities, we are increasingly
looking to UNFPA to assume a global co-ordination role to ensure
demand for commodities including condoms is met. We encourage
NGOs to collaborate closely with UNFPA on this issue.
13. We look forward to continuing a dialogue
with NGOs on a range of sexual and reproductive health issues.
ISSUE 4: REFORMING
Question (i) Reasons for selecting the particular
four states in Nigeria as reform-minded states?
14. DFID Nigeria has selected four states
in Nigeria over the last three years in accordance with its Country
Strategy Paper commitment to support State Governments that are
committed to reform.
15. State selection began with Benue in
1999, Jigawa in 2000 and Ekiti and Enugu in 2001. The process
became more refined as we learnt from experience and developed
the concept of partnership states. Benue was automatically selected
as DFID knew it from earlier work and the Secretary of State who
visited in March 2000 confirmed its selection. Jigawa was selected
for a public sector reform programme. This experience formed the
basis for refining selection criteria for future state selection.
16. Selection criteria have been formalised
as evidence of potential to be a reforming state and evidence
of potential to impact on MDGs. Within these, sub criteria include
assessments of change agents in state and local government and
civil society and state government's performance to date, priorities,
openness and willingness to engage. But:
Assessing reform potential is highly
subjective, particularly in a context of democratic transition
when many new actors emerge who are strong on rhetoric but have
no track record.
States had to come from four different
geographical zones to show DFID's ethnic neutrality.
Selection was relative to other states
in the zone and not against a benchmark.
17. Ekiti and Enugu were then selected after
desk studies, and cross-sectoral visits reviewing the reform criteria.
Information requested: (ii) A paper on the
process adopted in Russia for identifying reformersit seems
that local government was asked to compete for DFID aid and that
the bidding process helped make clear what are the obligations
of the recipients.
18. Under the 1998 CSP DFID worked in eight
"focal" oblasts in Russia (St Petersburg, Leningrad,
Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Oryol, Kemerovo, Sverdlovsk, Rostov).
In some, such as Oryol, this was a limited to a handful of projects
in one sector whereas in others, eg Sverdlovsk, we developed an
extensive multi-sectoral portfolio.
19. One of the key findings of the 2000
end of cycle review was that this policy had left us too thinly
spread to manage our programme and had resulted in too many "pinprick"
project interventions rather than a structured programme with
the oblasts. As a result, projects could be based on the interest
of a particular individual within an oblast administration rather
than a policy commitment. Our influence on the policies of oblasts
was therefore limited.
20. Under the 2001 CSP it was agreed that
we would pursue a closer relationship with two oblasts that were
most supportive of poverty reduction as regional partners, to
match our close engagement with the federal government and the
Gref Plan. This strategic choice was based on our poverty analysis
in the CSP, which indicated that we should be targeting good policy
environments to have the biggest impact on poverty. We concluded
that the best way of selecting good policy environments would
be through open competition (but restricted to the existing eight
focal oblasts to keep the process manageable).
21. To take the end of cycle review conclusions
seriously, we felt that a partnership approach should be reflected
in the selection process of the partner oblasts. Our objective
was to demonstrate fairness and transparency in this process.
22. As part of the selection process we
had to recognise that some oblasts had more understanding of DFID
than others. In order to level the playing field and ensure a
good understanding of what we were trying to do, we appointed
a team of consultants to act as a "partnership oblast support
team" to work with the oblasts.
23. Following the launch of the CSP in each
of the oblasts during July, we sought expressions of interest
from the oblast Governors by September, to which all eight replied.
The oblasts were then asked to submit applications (in Russian)
by mid-November using a loose template, against the following
(a) Poverty focusdegree to which the
oblast's development plans address issues of poverty and social
exclusion by raising the living standards of ordinary people and
reducing inequality (20 per cent).
(b) Commitmentdegree to which the
oblast wants to involve DFID in key development issues such as
the budget, and whether this is backed up with appropriate human
and financial resources (20 per cent).
(c) Capacityhow realistic are the
oblast's development plans, in terms of its needs and resources
(human and financial). Will it be able to deliver on the proposed
partnership with DFID (20 per cent).
(d) Partnershipshas the oblast brought
in other tiers of government (city, raion, municipality) and civil
society actors (20 per cent).
(e) Other donorsdoes the oblast have
mechanisms proposed or in place to integrate its work with DFID
with its programmes with other donor agencies (10 per cent).
(f) Disseminationdoes the oblast have
a track record (or potential) of piloting ideas that are replicated
elsewhere in the Federation (10 per cent).
24. All the oblasts submitted substantial
applications but there were wide differences in the interest in
the poverty agenda and understanding of working with DFID. All
members of the Russia team in London and in country were invited
to comment on the papers. Head EECAD, Senior Programme Manager
Russia and Head Development Section Moscow took the decision.
25. The Secretary of State endorsed the
final choice of Leningrad and Nizhny Novgorod. All oblasts were
notified in writing in January and offered an opportunity for
oral feedback on their applications.
|Kemerovo||We have expended considerable effort to develop a portfolio in Kemerovo as a foothold in Siberia. Enormous social problems but a difficult working environment. Weak application with lack of attention to poverty and misunderstanding of what DFID can offer.
|Leningrad||The hinterland of St Petersburg made up of mono-company towns and marginal agriculture. Good poverty focus in application, a joined up approach and sound proposals on how the partnership can be delivered.
|Nizhny Novgorod||The third city of Russia and one of the early reform pioneers. Over a million people living in poverty, a number the oblast administration wants to halve by 2005. Well-developed relationship with DFID reflected in concrete proposals for future co-operation.
|Oryol||A small, heavily agricultural oblast. A very strong application on paper but real questionmarks about ownership by the oblast Governor. Not convincing that they can deliver on paper promises.
|Rostov||The leading city of the south and one with close ties to the Embassy. Application lacked a proper analysis of poverty issues and confined narrowly to "social policy".
|St Petersburg||A wealthy city where our programme has been running down over time. Application lacked poverty focus, rather seeking a continuation of existing initiatives, particularly on public finance reform.
|Samara||Our richest oblast where we have a well-developed health and social policy portfolio. Application mainly focused on our existing areas of assistance, limited ideas on how to take the partnership into new areas. Likely to benefit from DFID health initiatives through federal Ministries.
|Sverdlovsk||Industrial powerhouse of the Urals but with growing social problems. SoS visited in June 2000. A lot of active DFID projects but has proved to be a poor policy environment in the past. Application lacked poverty focus, seeing this narrowly as social protection, and lacked clear priorities.
ISSUE 5: ALLOCATION
Information requested: Chart showing how DFID resources
26. Please see the two enclosed charts: (i) 2000 Net
ODA to Low Income Countries as a percentage of net ODA allocable
by Income Group and, (ii) G7 2000 Bilateral ODA by CPIA rating
for IDA Countries.
ISSUE 6: MILLENNIUM
Questions: How would you respond to the charge that the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are simply not appropriate
measures for individual development agencies, in that it is not
possible (after the event) to attribute responsibility to DFID
for progress on a particular target?
27. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) frame all
of DFID's activities and programmes. We have linked DFID's performance
to progress against the MDGs by integrating key human development
Goals relating to health and education into the Department's 2001-04
Public Service Agreement (PSA). However, we recognise that there
are problems with attribution.
28. The PSA targets on health and education mirror the
MDGs. Progress against these targets is measured in ten key partner
countries in which DFID is closely engaged. These countries were
chosen on the basis of where DFID spends the majority of its resources.
Whilst it is not possible exclusively to attribute progress against
the MDGs in these countries to the interventions of DFIDor
any individual donorwe believe we can make a plausible
link between the concentration of our financial (and human) resources
in these countries and progress against the core human development
29. Our draft 2003-06 PSA will strengthen the link between
measuring progress at MDG level and at divisional, departmental
and individual level in DFID.
30. It is worth noting that DFID's impact is captured
in a range of other performance measures, notably project scores,
annual reviews of our bilateral country programmes and major evaluation
studies of other aspects of our work.
ISSUE 7: PERFORMANCE
Question: (i) How reliable are the statistics against which
DFID assesses its performance against the IDTs?
31. There are known problems with availability, reliability
and timeliness of the data for monitoring progress on development
outcomes. This is a characteristic of poor statistical systems
in poor countries. Where possible DFID takes figures directly
from the databases of the World Bank (for example their World
Development Indicators database) or from the UN agency which has
responsibility for the particular indicator. These are the most
comprehensive and comparable sources of data for these indicators
but in most cases they rely on weak national statistical systems
to provide the country-level data.
32. The process of data collation by international agencies
sometimes adds a considerable timelag, often of two to three years
or more, to the process. Thus DFID often supplements international
data with data obtained directly from the countries themselves.
33. Poor quality of data hampers policymaking and performance
management in most developing countries and thus also DFID country
teams. There is both a short term need to improve the statistics
required for global monitoring of progress towards the MDGs and
a longer term need to build sustainable capacity at national level.
DFID is working with other development agencies to help build
the capacity in developing countries to collect and use statistical
data. The main focus of collaboration by international development
agencies in this area is a programme called "Partnerships
in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century". Over
the past year, a number of regional workshops have been organised
in some 40 countries under this programme which have encouraged
co-operation and dialogue between users and producers of statistics
in developing countries.
Question: (ii) Do country programmes include targets that
are commensurate with DFID's high-level targets/MDGs?
34. DFID has recently undertaken a major review of the
Department's country planning processes to ensure that DFID's
proposed interventions would be explicitly linked to DFID's PSA
targets and thus the MDGs. DFID's new Country Assistance Plans
will be required to include an annex reporting on progress at
the country level against PSA objectives/targets, as well as MDGs.
The Plans represent performance contracts between the country
team and the Regional Director. They will be annually reviewed
and will feed into each Director's report on progress in their
35. In the 2003-06 PSA, which is currently being negotiated
as part of the 2002 Spending Review, regional targets have been
aggregated from targets set out in countries' own poverty strategies.
This will ensure close alignment between the MDGs, PSA targets
and the Country Assistance Plans' interim outcomes.
Question: (iii) Who in DFID is responsible for ensuring
progress against individual MDGs? Are senior policy advisers responsible
for ensuring the contribution of country teams to targets?
36. At present, the Secretary of State is formally accountable
for progress against DFID's 2001-04 PSA and thus progress towards
the MDGs. Within DFID, senior management are collectively responsible
for DFID's contribution to the MDGs.
37. The performance management system designed around
the proposed 2003-06 PSA will formalise this internal responsibility
by holding senior management directly accountable for progress
against PSA targets and objectives. Senior Management will manage
performance through six-monthly reviews drawing on the Directors'
annual PSA progress reports, Directors' Statements and the annual
Departmental Report. They will also be provided with the quarterly
PSA returns to the Treasury.
38. Individual Directors in discussion with advisers
and other colleagues will incorporate MDG/PSA objectives and targets
directly into their job plans and allocate resources accordingly.
Their success will be measured yearly against delivery of outcomes.
Successful delivery will require that PSA objectives and targets
be "cascaded" down to departmental, team and individual
work plans. This will ensure ownership by all parts of the office
of each target and create a "ladder of accountability".
ISSUE 8: DIRECT
Question: (i) What evidence is there to show that further
benefits can be gained from extending budget support from individual
spending departments (for example, education in Ghana) to simply
giving the support to the Finance Ministry of the country concerned?
Answer: [Reply to follow separately]
Question: (ii) How does DFID rank or prioritise its different
mechanisms for transferring resources to the South?
39. DFID does not have a mechanistic ranking. We choose
what is best to achieve sustainable poverty reduction in the particular
circumstances. In low income aid dependent countries where the
government has a credible commitment to poverty reduction and
to improving public finance management and accountability, there
are strong arguments that the bulk of financial transfers to government
should take the form of DBS. This does not however preclude support
for genuinely transformational projects or support direct to civil
society or the private sector.
ISSUE 9: CDC CAPITAL
Questions: CDC Capital Partners' investments are still
recorded as part of the UK Government's development expenditure.
The shift in focus of CDC's investments away from agriculture
to retail and telecommunications has been much commented on. Is
it still appropriate to count investment in, for example, ICT
in India as part of poverty-focused spending? What will be the
effect of the transformation of CDC into a public/private partnership
on the inclusion of its investments in figures showing UK expenditure
on bilateral aid?
40. Statistical reporting of CDC investments is made
in accordance with definitions set by the Development Assistance
Committee (DAC) of the OECD. The test for deciding whether official
flows to oda eligible countries should be counted as oda is that
they are intended to promote the economic development and welfare
of developing countries. CDC investments meet this test.
41. While CDC remains a public body its investments will
count as an official flow and need to be reported where they qualify
under DAC criteria. The first test for deciding whether official
flows count as oda is that they are intended to promote the economic
development and welfare of developing countries. CDC investments
meet this test. The form of the Public/Private Partnership has
yet to be decided. This may affect CDC official status and hence
oda eligibility. Statistical reporting is made in accordance with
definitions set by DAC.
ISSUE 10: UN INSTITUTIONAL
Information requested: Note on DFID's support for UN institutional
reform (including WHO and FAO) and progress being made.
42. DFID's strategies for working in partnership with
the UN are set out in a series of Institutional Strategy Papers
(ISPs), the first for the UN system as a whole and one for each
of the main UN development organisations. DFID is providing financial
and technical assistance and working in UN inter-governmental
fora and in the Executive Boards of the UN's development funds,
programmes and specialised agencies to encourage each agency to
focus on its areas of comparative advantage in helping to meet
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to improve its systems
for measuring and evaluating its results and performance, and
to co-ordinate closely with other UN bodies and the World Bank.
The aim of DFID's inputs is to improve the UN's poverty reduction
impact at country level.
43. DFID has committed about £3.5 million in technical
co-operation to support UNDP's reform programme. UNDP has embarked
on an ambitious and wide-ranging reform programme which seeks
to sharpen the focus of UNDP's programmes, to improve the quality
of its Resident Coordinators and to develop its results-based
management system. DFID is providing support for UNICEF in its
efforts to develop a rights-based approach to development programming;
and is providing significant support to build UNICEF's capacity
to respond to crisis and emergency situations. DFID is also considering
a set of capacity building projects to assist UNICEF in implementing
its new Medium Term Strategic Plan.
44. WHO is actively engaged in a reform process aimed
at strengthening country focus, aligning its human and financial
resources with its strategic planning and focusing its activities
on poverty reduction and the relevant MDGs. DFID is supporting
WHO in its pursuit of improved institutional performance and better
health outcomes. DFID funds are targeted to enable WHO to set
its own internal priorities and to address its weaknesses at country
level. As WHO reform enters a second and deeper phase, DFID and
other like-minded donors intend to monitor progress based on country
45. DFID collaborated with UNESCO to develop its results-based
programming system and helped with the training of UNESCO's staff
in project cycle management. DFID is now supporting training for
UNESCO staff in the use of the new financial, budget and accounting
systems, which support the results-based programming system. DFID
also provides support for the evaluation work of UNESCO's new
internal oversight system.
46. The FAO has initiated a series of reforms since 1994including
significant decentralisation, a strategic framework and changes
to the programming, budgetary and accountability proceduresbut
further reform is needed to increase its effectiveness and efficiency.
DFID is an influential member of the Council and the finance committee
and is supporting key institutional change initiatives. A core
element of DFID's ISPwhich is currently being writtenwill
be to push for the introduction of term limits for the post of
47. The UN Development Group Office (UNDGO) has responsibility
for UN system co-ordination at country level. DFID has a portfolio
of projects worth about £3.5 million with UNDGO. We have
funded guidelines for the UN's Common Country Assessment (CCA)
and UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)which aim
to promote a more joined-up and strategic approach by the various
UN agencies in support of country-owned poverty reduction strategies.
We are funding training for UN Country Teams in the implementation
of the guidelines. We have agreed a substantial contribution to
UNDGO's country co-ordination trust fund, which is designed to
achieve a more coherent UN system-wide effort at country level.
DFID is also funding training for Country Teams and resource persons
to develop common services (budgeting, programming and procurement)
for the UN family in country.
48. Much of our training support for UNDGO has been provided
through the UN Staff College in Turin. We provided £1 million
to help establish the College, which became a permanent body of
the UN in January this year. DFID has subsequently committed around
£3 million for targeted training courses. The College aims
to promote the UN reform agenda by providing training for key
UN agency staff in priority areas for UN reform.
49. There is a clear need for a strong international
system that is well equipped to cope with crisesboth natural
disasters and complex emergencieswhere national governments
are unable to fulfil their responsibilities to protect their citizens.
DFID's Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD) is
therefore supporting institutional reform in various key parts
of the UN. Jointly agreed Institutional Strategy Papers (ISPs)
with the UN agencies identify long-term priorities. Much of this
work focuses on developing better systems and procedures at headquarters
to ensure that programmes in the field are delivered in a timely,
appropriate and effective manner in the event of a crisis.
50. For example, we have been supporting the World Food
Programme (WFP) to develop tools for emergency preparedness and
to review food security units (which later played a crucial role
in both Sierra Leone and Afghanistan in 2001). The ISP with the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) began in April
2002, although smaller, focused grants were provided in previous
years. The partnership focuses on developing co-ordination and
partnerships in the humanitarian system and developing staff capacities
for protection, emergency preparedness and evaluation.
51. Over the past three years, DFID support for the Office
for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has enhanced
co-ordination and policy development functions in a strategic,
forward-thinking manner. It has also strengthened capacity to
evaluate and learn lessons from past activities and supported
internal strengthening and restructuring of the field support
functions in Geneva.
52. CHAD also works with selected units within the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) which are responsible for responding to crises.
53. In conjunction with the MOD and FCO, through the
Global Conflict Prevention Pool, DFID is also advancing a range
of projects aimed at building the UN's capacity to run effective
peace operations. There are signs that this concerted effort,
building on the UN's own internal reform processes (for example
significant restructuring within DPKO), is beginning to improve
ISSUE 11: AID
Question: Reasons for bilateral aid to Singapore and Brunei?
Answer: [Reply to follow separately]
Department for International Development
10 July 2002
Ev 34. Back
Ev 35. Back
Ev 35. Back