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At project level, activities are monitored and evaluated by the RCA on a regular basis. Projects are designed to address individual needs in specific circumstances and therefore vary widely in scope and scale. Monitoring and evaluation is built in, and is undertaken against the objectives and projected
outcomes. The positive impact of GCPP supported projects is being seen through these evaluations.
The Latin America conflict prevention strategy has at its heart the objective of resolving existing conflicts and preventing new conflicts from breaking out. In delivering this objective, evaluation shows that this has been successful. For example, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a successful border management model has been developed around Colombias borders to assure refugees rights and to resolve and manage conflicts. In Colombia, GCPP support has contributed to the visible presence of community defenders in remote and vulnerable communities who have helped to reduce the risk of internal displacement of people by providing increased access to legal services.
Mr. Thomas: In 2006 we published an independent evaluation of DFID-funded technical co-operation (technical assistance) for economic management in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study evaluated the technical assistance provided to the Governments of Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia over the period 1999-2004. We are currently considering further evaluation work on technical co-operation jointly with other donors.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to include significant participation from Southern country recipients in its forthcoming review of its technical assistance programmes. 
Mr. Thomas: Technical cooperation or technical assistance is the provision of know-how to developing countries in the form of personnel, training, research and associated costs. DFID spends approximately 10 per cent. of bilateral official development assistance on technical cooperation. In 2008, DFID will review its provision of technical cooperation personnel, i.e. contracted specialists who share know-how and expertise with developing countries. The review will assess DFIDs progress in implementing guidance for country offices written in June 2006.
DFIDs long-term vision for technical assistance is that our partners in developing countries should lead in identifying needs for technical assistance, designing terms of reference, and contracting and managing consultants. DFID considers it important that Southern partners and recipients of technical assistance play a significant role in the review.
the reviewers make some country visits to interview partner governments and recipients of technical assistance
a small reference group of representatives of partner governments and recipients of technical assistance advise on the review
one of the criteria for selecting consultants to carry out the review is that Southern-based consultants play a significant role.
DFID has agreed that the terms of reference for the review will be developed jointly with the UK Aid Network, a network of UK development NGOs including ActionAid, Christian Aid, Oxfam and WaterAid. We hope they will also contribute ideas on this.
While Southern partners contributions are critical for the DFID review, internationally agreed aid effectiveness principles indicate donors should not make excessive demands on Southern partners time. This is particularly so for individual donor initiatives. We need to use our partners time wisely when inviting them to work on the DFID review.
|Technical co-operation as a p ercentage of Bilateral ODA|
Consultancies: the provision of assistance to recipient countries in the form of contracted specialists.
Knowledge and Research: grants for agreed programmes of research and development at UK and non-UK institutions which will be of benefit to assisted countries.
Training and Scholarships: the provision of assistance in the form of training for persons from aid recipient countries. The training may be provided in the UK, in the home country of the student, or in a third country. Training provided under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, the Shared Scholarship scheme and Training through Country programmes is managed directly by, or on behalf of, DFID. Increasingly training is also being provided by means of short in-country courses as part of, or in association with, country projects. This is not fully captured at present in the statistics on training. The costs of these activities are included within projects and programmes.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of technical assistance contracts were awarded to (a) UK firms, (b) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development firms and (c) developing country firms in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Thomas: Information on the percentage of Technical Assistance contacts which have been awarded in the above categories is not held centrally and to obtain these would incur disproportionate costs.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what guidelines exist on the process of bidding for technical assistance contracts; and what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the technical assistance procurement market is an open market. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to transparent, fair and open competition. All contracts above £93,738 are tendered through international competition in accordance with the EU Public Procurement directives and the code of good practice issued by the Office of Government Commerce. Full information on the bidding process is available on the DFID website at:
DFIDs global business attracts interest from a wide range of experts, companies and institutions. In 2005-06 our headquarters engaged 338 different suppliers to provide goods and services to DFID and our development partners.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what international development assistance has been given by the Government to (a) Helmand Province and (b) the Government of Afghanistans National Drugs Control strategy. 
The Department for International Development has allocated up to £30 million over three years to the Government of Afghanistan to support its Helmand Agricultural and Rural Development programme (HARDP). This programme is designed to extend the Governments National Priority programmes to Helmand, and will fund projects in the road-building, community development, micro-credit, water/sanitation and agriculture sectors. Since the programme started in January, over 1000 wells have been surveyed and designed. Of these, 120 wells have been completed, benefiting around 21,000 people and work is continuing on a further 30. A second batch of 150 wells will begin construction shortly. Construction has also started on four roads, totalling 51 km. These roads should be completed by May, security permitting. In 2006-07, the UK Government also committed £6.2 million to fund 128 quick impact projects. These have included improvements in flood defences; humanitarian assistance to drought victims and those who have had to flee their homes; refurbishment of 30 tractors and ploughs; permanent vehicle checkpoints to improve security; and improvements to two local markets.
The UK has committed £270 million to support counter narcotics activity in Afghanistan, including support for the National Drugs Control strategy. This
includes £30 million for the Counter Narcotics Trust Fund, which was set up specifically to support the National Drugs Control strategy. The fund will bring counter narcotics funding on budget; give the Afghans greater ownership over this important agenda; and ensure that assistance is targeted as effectively as possible. In 2006-07, the Department for International Development also spent £33.7 million on programmes to strengthen and diversify legal rural livelihoods.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to the Colombian Government on the fulfilment of the Colombian Supreme Court decision of May 2002 on the reconstruction of the village of Tabaco. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 24 April 2007]: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met with members of the Tabaco community in London on 30 January. Their concerns included claims of being forcibly displaced, lack of compensation and damage to the environment regarding the Cerrejon Mine. Since then we have made inquiries with Cerrejon both in London and Colombia.
Our embassy in Bogota has raised the communities concerns with the office of the Vice President of the Government of Colombia. We will continue to raise with the Government of Colombia the importance we attach to adherence to socially responsible business practices by extractive companies around the world.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason British embassy officials in Bogota will not meet representatives of communities forcibly displaced by coal mining expansion in the province of la Guajira. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 24 April 2007]: Our embassy in Bogota, when responding to the meeting request my hon. Friend refers to, explained to the community representatives that it would be more helpful to await the Colombian Governments response before meeting with them. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials subsequently met representatives of communities from the la Guajira province on 30 January in London. They raised the issue of forced displacement. Since then we have made enquiries with Cerrejon in London and Colombia. Our embassy in Bogota has raised the issue with the Government of Colombia Vice Presidents Office.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will estimate the number of fraudulent applications for visas in each of the last four years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: At present statistics are not available on refusals of visa applications made on the grounds of fraud. Individual visa issuing posts may keep such records but it would incur disproportionate cost to contact each post requesting these details.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outstanding issues are between the British and Spanish Governments over the operation in Gibraltar of the 1996 Hague Convention on the international protection of children; and when she expects them to be resolved to the extent necessary to enable the Convention to be ratified by the EU. 
Mr. Hoon: The outstanding issue blocking the ratification of the Hague Convention, and other mixed competence conventions, by the EU concerns the arrangements for communicating with competent authorities in Gibraltar which Spain has questioned.
Given the nature of these negotiations, it is difficult to estimate a precise time-scale for their conclusion. I have agreed to notify Parliament when we are in a position to announce progress that will enable the ratification of the Convention.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the statement of 24 March 2007 by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US, with support of the High Representative of the European Union, whether additional talks between the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani to discuss the Iranian nuclear programme have taken place. 
Margaret Beckett: Dr. Javier Solana has spoken to Dr. Ali Larijani on a number of occasions to discuss the Iranian nuclear programme and we understand that they are due to meet in the week commencing 23 April. We hope that this channel of communication will remain open.
Dr. Howells: Our consular records show that at least 59 British civilians have died in Iraq since March 2003. This number includes deaths from natural causes, but is not a definitive figure as records include only those cases where consular assistance has been sought. The figure does not include British dual nationals or unrepresented foreign nationals.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the next round of the Iraq neighbours conference is expected to take place; and whom she expects to be representing the United Kingdom. 
Margaret Beckett: With the assistance of the Government of Egypt, the Government of Iraq has decided to hold an Iraq Neighbours Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on 4 May. The Government of Iraq and the UN have also agreed to officially launch the International Compact on 3 May at the same venue.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with the (a) Defence Secretary and (b) Home Secretary on a future resettlement program for those Iraqi citizens who (i) have been and (ii) are still working for the British Army deployed in Southern Iraq. 
Margaret Beckett: Applications for assistance from Iraqis who work, or have worked for the Government in Iraq are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking account of their particular circumstances. Officials from the relevant Government Departments are engaged in ongoing discussions about how best we might be able to lend assistance to such individuals.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding and resources she provided to the Property Claims Commission in Iraq in each year since 2001; and what funding she has allocated in each of the next three years. 
Mr. McCartney: The Commission for Resolution of Real Property Disputes, formerly Iraq Property Claims Commission, carries out an important role in addressing the consequences of Saddams enforced migration policies. Working under difficult circumstances, their annual report states that the total number of claims received by 31 December 2006 was 122,655 of which 24.54 per cent. of claims have been decided.
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