Select Committee on Science and Technology Thirteenth Report


Overseas Development Institute, London: Tuesday 25 May 2004

The Committee held discussions with Simon Maxwell, Director of the Overseas Development Institute, John Humphrey, Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies, Professor John Harriss, Director of the Development Studies Institute, Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, and PJ Greeves, Overseas Development Institute, on a wide range of issues, particularly the challenges currently being faced by UK-based international development research institutions. The Committee was also briefed by Simon Maxwell, Elizabeth Cromwell, Robert Tripp and Rachel Slater, all from the Overseas Development Institute, on food security in Malawi.

Malawi: Wednesday 16 - Saturday 19 June 2004

Wednesday 16 June: Lilongwe

Evening: DFID, British High Commission and British Council

The Committee received a briefing on FCO, DFID and British Council activities in Malawi, hosted by Norman Ling, the British High Commissioner, at his residence in Lilongwe. DFID was represented at the briefing by Roger Wilson, Head of Mission in Malawi, Dr Harry Potter, Rural Livelihoods Adviser, Susan Mshana, Health Adviser, and Paul Spray, Head of the Central Research Department. The British Council was represented by David Martin, Director Central Africa.

Thursday 17 June

The Committee divided into two parties to visit agricultural and health projects respectively. The agriculture team was accompanied by Dr Harry Potter, and the health team by Susan Mshana.


Agriculture team: International Centre for Research in the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Chitedze, and village visits

The Committee met researchers from ICRISAT and the Centre for International Tropical Agriculture and the International Centre for Research on Maize and Wheat. The Committee also visited a local village, where discussions were held with local farmers.

Health team: National AIDS Commission and Equi-TB Knowledge Programme

The Committee was briefed on the Malawi national HIV/AIDS research agenda at the headquarters of the National AIDS Commission and then visited the ward for AIDS patients at the Lilongwe Central Hospital and the 'Lighthouse' Voluntary Counselling and Testing and Anti-Retroviral Drug Distribution Centre.

The Committee was briefed on the Equi-TB Knowledge Programme at the Community Health Sciences Unit before undertaking a field visit to a research project in the Kauma settlement area.

Afternoon: National Commission for Science and Technology and British Council (both teams)

The Committee met with the Head of the National Commission for Science and Technology and the National AIDS Commission and the Principal Secretaries of the Ministries of Health; Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security; Education; and Water Development to discuss the role of science, technology and research in Malawian development.

The Committee then visited the British Council offices and held discussions about British Council activities in Malawi with David Martin, Director Central Africa, and other British Council staff based in Malawi.

Evening: British High Commission

The British High Commissioner hosted a reception for the Committee, attended by Malawian Ministers, Members of Parliament and Senior Civil Servants, as well as alumni of the Chevening Scheme.

Friday 18 June


Agriculture team: Forestry Research Institute, University of Malawi

The Committee held discussions with researchers from the Forestry Research Institute and saw examples of research on water hyacinth, woolly aphids and medicinal bark.

Health team: Ntcheu District Hospital and Banja La Mtsogolo Clinic

The Committee visited the Ntcheu District hospital to hear about the Essential Medical Laboratory Services Project. The Committee then toured the Banja La Mtsogolo Clinic in Ntcheu and watched a performance by young people to communicate messages about sexual and reproductive health to other young people and children.


Agriculture team: Centre for Social Research and Banja La Mtsogolo Clinic

The Committee met with researchers from the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi before visiting a Banja La Mtsogolo Clinic to learn about the sexual and reproductive health programmes undertaken there.

Health team: Honorary British Consul and Malaria Research Projects in Blantyre

Following a lunch hosted by Krishna Savjani, Honorary British Consul in Blantyre, the Committee visited a series of Malaria research projects at the Zingwangwa research clinic, the Malaria Alert Centre and the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust laboratory at the College of Medicine and Queens Hospital.

Evening: Ku Chawe

The agriculture and health teams reconvened in Ku Chawe to discuss their observations with Norman Ling, Roger Wilson, Paul Spray, Susan Mshana, Harry Potter and Dr Colin Gourley, DFID Transport Adviser.

Saturday 19 June: Blantyre

Morning: President of Malawi and Blantyre Polytechnic

The Chairman, together with Norman Ling, the British High Commissioner, and Roger Wilson, DFID's Head of Mission in Malawi, met the President of Malawi and held discussions about the Government of Malawi's approach to science and technology.

The rest of the Committee attended a presentation at Blantyre Polytechnic to learn about the Higher Education Links with Strathclyde University in the UK.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2004
Prepared 26 October 2004