|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of his Department's ability to influence the matters covered by his Department's 2004 public service agreement targets. 
Hilary Benn: DFID, in common with all other Government Departments, submits a self-assessment of its capacity to deliver its public service agreement (PSA) targets to the Treasury on a six-monthly basis. These self-assessments feed into the Treasury's delivery reports on departmental performance.
DFID also makes assessments of its ability to deliver the PSA targets as part of our annual business planning process. Known as directors' delivery plans, the business plans, which are reviewed and amended each autumn: consider progress to date against each of the PSA targets; analyse the mechanisms and structures in place to secure delivery of the targets, making adjustments where necessary; review risk management strategies and set out the activities that will be carried out and the resources that will be required to deliver the targets.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action the Government are taking on (a) government to government aid for Ethiopia and (b) direct budgetary support following recent events in Ethiopia; what representations he has made within the EU; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The UK, holding Presidency of the EU, issued a statement on 6 November 2005 expressing grave concern about recent events in Ethiopia, and called for restraint and dialogue. In a separate statement all international donors to Ethiopia, including the UK, announced that they were reviewing their development assistance programmes.
We have not provided any direct budgetary support to Ethiopia this year, and together with the other budget support donors, we are considering how best to adjust our assistance programme to ensure that poor people are not disadvantaged.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress the Government are making with its plan to establish in Montserrat a positive population policy which promotes population growth and is sensitive to the social and governance impact. 
Mr. Thomas: With support from DFID and the European Union, the Montserrat Government have made good progress in several areas to promote the retention of the present population and to encourage the return of Montserratians from overseas. It has increased the level of housing and accommodation provision, increased access to good quality education, improved the quality and scope of health provision, improved air access to the island, and is promoting Montserrat as a safe and stable place to live in. The development of a social and economic hub at Little Bay, together with ongoing and planned efforts to stimulate economic growth, should contribute further to the achievement of this goal.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will answer
5 Dec 2005 : Column 1042W
questions (a) 26330, (b) 26328 and (c) 26329 tabled by the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon on 3 November. 
Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. member for Stratford-on-Avon to the responses given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development (Mr. Thomas) on 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 57W and on 29 November 2005, Official Report, columns 35657W respectively.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how value for money indicators will be used to measure performance against 2004 public service agreement number 6. 
Hilary Benn: The technical note to DFID's 200508 public service agreement provides full details of the indicators and methodologies which will be used to monitor performance against target 6, which focuses on the impact and effectiveness of DFID's bilateral programme. The technical note is available on DFID's website at www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/PSA/technicalnotes.pdf.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria he will use to measure the effectiveness of multilateral institutions as required by 2004 public service agreement target number 3. 
Hilary Benn: The technical note to DFID's 200508 public service agreement provides full details of the indicators and methodologies which will be used to monitor performance against target 3. The technical note is available on DFID's website at www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/PSA/technicalnotes.pdf.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to verify the quality of data used to measure performance against 2004 public service agreement target 2. 
DFID's public service agreement (PSA) target 2 for the 200508 PSA seeks 'Progress towards the MDGs in nine key countries in Asia'. Detailed progress is measured against five indicators and the PSA Technical Note sets out the various sources of data which underpin these indicators. It can be seen that the information required is drawn from authoritative international data series. Despite every effort to secure accurate data for all PSA focus countries, DFID recognises that there are limitations to the data available for reviewing progress. A detailed note on methodology and data issues is found as an annex to DFID's 2004 Autumn Performance Report (APR) and a similar annex is included within our 2005 APR, which will be published shortly. DFID is at the forefront of the
5 Dec 2005 : Column 1043W
international effort to improve the availability and quality of data for measuring progress towards the MDGs and some of the work we are doing in this area is also mentioned in our APR annex.
I am pleased to note that the National Audit Office (NAO) is confident that the systems we use to measure progress against this target are sufficiently robust and well explained that they have been awarded a 'green' traffic light in their recent assessment. We are currently looking at comments from a useful report by the Statistics Commission which also looked at the targets used for measuring PSA progress.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the baseline is against which a reduction in the proportion of 15 to 24-year-old pregnant women with HIV as required by 2004 public service agreement target 1 is measured. 
Hilary Benn: In both the 200306 and 200508 public sector agreements (PSAs), DFID has targets seeking progress towards the millennium development goals (MDGs) in countries in Africa and Asia. For the 200306 PSA baseline positions were set out, however over time, the baselines were revised due to new data becoming available and ongoing work within the international statistical organisations who provide the data we use. In response to this, for the 200508 PSA DFID has not published baseline figures, but rather has set percentage point changes, or directions of travel sought and will make an assessment of progress during the PSA focus period, based on the difference between the prevalence figure for the baseline year (in many cases 2000) given when the assessment is made, and the latest data available. This is explained in the Technical Note which accompanies our PSA.
The Joint United Nations Programme of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), is the United Nations body which provides statistical data to measure progress in the area of HIV/AIDS and difficulties with these data are set out in DFID's PSA Technical Note. At the time the Technical Note was written, new data on HIV/AIDS were anticipated. These figures were supplied in 2004 and used in DFID's 2004 Autumn Performance Report. This stated that the average HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women aged 1524 years, in the 11 African countries for which data were available, was 14 per cent., although prevalence rates range from 4 per cent. in Ghana to more than 28 per cent. in Lesotho. Most data in this assessment dated from 2003 and it is likely that this will represent the best baseline position for monitoring against the 200508 PSA. However DFID will continue to monitor methodological work in this area and seek the inclusion of data for the five PSA countries that were not included in the assessment made in 2004.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|