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Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study commissioned by his Department on promoting partnership in development work. [211704]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Effective partnerships based on shared commitments to poverty reduction are important to achieving positive development objectives. DFID regards work done with partners in the OECD as a vital tool in promoting effective partnerships. We will continue to support the work done by the OECD and others.

Despite thorough checks in London and with the OECD in Paris, we are not aware to which report this question refers.

Overseas Aid

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) criteria are used and (b) process is followed in determining whether breaches of aid partnership commitments should give use to (i) revocation and (ii) reduction of aid allocations. [211706]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The joint DFID, FCO and HM Treasury policy paper “Partnerships for poverty reduction: rethinking conditionality” (2005) states that a successful aid partnership depends on shared commitments to:

The UK will consider reducing or interrupting aid if partner countries breach these commitments. Table 5.2 of DFID’s annual report provides details of changes to programmes as a result of a breach of conditions during 2007-08. The report is available through DFID’s website:

The UK conditionality policy commits us to agreeing with partner Governments in advance a process for considering whether there has been a breach. We aim to have a substantial period of discussion with the partner Government to enable us to explain our concerns and understand their position. We are committed to greater transparency about conditionality by making public our decisions and the evidence on which they are based, as we do in DFID’s annual report.

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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what process his Department follows for assessing the performance of its aid projects; and what definition he uses of success in assessing aid project outcomes. [211709]

Mr. Thomas: All of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) projects and programmes identify what problems they will address, what the money will be spent on and who will benefit to ensure that they have as much impact as possible in improving the lives of poor people.

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DFID’s projects and programmes of £1 million or more include a measurement framework against which performance is monitored. Operational projects are scored annually throughout their duration to assess the likelihood of achieving their intended objectives. Projects are then scored on completion according to whether they achieved their intended objectives. See table 1 as follows.

Projects are monitored routinely to check that they are on track by active management by DFID’s regional divisions.

Table 1
Score DFID description Achievement of outputs


Likely to be completely achieved

The outputs/purpose are well on the way to completion (or completed)


Likely to be largely achieved

There is good progress towards purpose completion and most outputs have been achieved, particularly the most important


Likely to be partly achieved

Only partial achievement of the purpose is likely and/or achievement of some outputs


Only likely to be achieved to a very limited extent

Purpose unlikely to be achieved but a few outputs likely to be achieved


Unlikely to be achieved

No progress on outputs or purpose


Too early to judge

It is impossible to say whether there has been any progress towards the final achievement of outputs or purpose

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place a copy in the Library of each institutional strategy paper for multilateral aid organisations. [211717]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: We will place copies of all current institutional strategies in the Library by 30 June. These are already in the public domain. Some are due for renewal in 2008. As we agree new institutional strategies, we will also place these in the Library.

Overseas Aid: Standards

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what obligations arise from adherence to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness; and who the signatories to that declaration are, broken down by (a) nationality and (b) status. [211712]

Mr. Thomas: The Paris Declaration commits signatories to meet, by 2010, 12 indicators which are guided by five principles:

Details of signatories to the Paris Declaration can be found through the OECD-DAC's website

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the relative performance of donors who have signed up to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. [211713]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Monitoring of the Paris Declaration is carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) through a survey, completed by both partner countries and donors.

The first survey was carried out in 2006. The survey showed that DFID has already met or is on track to meet its targets by 2010. More generally, it showed that, while a number of efforts are being made to implement the Paris Declaration, both donors and partners need to step up their efforts if the targets are to be met by 2010. Priorities for donors include better alignment with country priorities, reducing transactions costs, better use of performance assessment frameworks to promote managing for results, and mutual accountability (where donors and partner governments are both accountable for delivering on commitments made).

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The second survey was conducted earlier this year. Results will be published ahead of the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness taking place in Accra in September. Details of the survey can be found through the DAC website

Sierra Leone: Water Supply

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether there is a strategy in place for UK aid aimed at improving the provision of safe water and sanitation services to Sierra Leone; and what agencies his Department is working with on this matter. [211806]

Mr. Thomas: The UK has approved a £32 million programme over five years to improve the provision of safe and sustainable water and sanitation in Sierra Leone. The programme aims to strengthen the Government’s ability to provide water and sanitation services and deliver real benefits for the poor—enabling an additional 1.5 million people to access safe water and sanitation.

The principal partner for this nationwide programme is the Government of Sierra Leone. We are also working with UNICEF and NGOs; including PLAN, Oxfam, and Goal.

South Asia: Females

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what programmes are being implemented by his Department to promote equality and the empowerment of women in the South Asia region. [211731]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) is prioritising equality and women’s empowerment in a variety of ways. Firstly DFID provides significant funding for education and health sectors, which can have a huge impact on human development outcomes for girls and women. In Pakistan, DFID is contributing up to £90 million for a new National Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme. In India, DFID is providing £220 million to the National ‘Education For All’ programme which sets measurable disaggregated targets to reduce the gender gap in school enrolment.

Secondly, DFID also supports numerous programmes that increase women’s access to financial services, economic opportunities and political space. In Bangladesh, DFID is providing £75 million over seven years to the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) (a large NGO), for the second phase of a programme that aims to help 800,000 extremely poor women and their households achieve sustainable livelihoods. In Nepal, DFID’s Rights, Democracy and Inclusion Fund (RDIF) supports a three year project focused on strengthening the capacity of women political leaders and cadres to implement democratic and inclusive governance. In Afghanistan, DFID has provided £20 million to the Micro-Finance and Investment Support Facility of Afghanistan which aims to improve women’s access to micro credit loans.

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South Asia: Peacekeeping Operations

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken to increase the security of aid for South Asia. [211742]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has in place robust financial procedures for all programmes. DFID completes a rigorous Fiduciary Risk Assessment (FRA) before all general and sector budget support is agreed. These examine the Government systems through which our money will be spent, identifies weaknesses and sets up monitoring mechanisms for improvement over a period of time.

Sri Lanka: Politics and Government

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what personnel have been deployed to work for the Global Conflict Prevention Pool for Sri Lanka; and in what roles. [211725]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: This fiscal year, the British high commission in Sri Lanka deploys eight staff members, a significant percentage of whose time is spent working on Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP) issues. In total this adds up to almost three full-time staff members. Their roles are deputy head of mission; defence attaché; second secretary; head of section; senior programme manager; and three locally employed administrative staff.

In addition to this, there are four advisory staff based in London, working for DFID and the cross-Whitehall Security Sector Development Advisory Team (SSDAT), who are deployed to Sri Lanka to work on CPP issues in Sri Lanka for short periods of time, as and when required.

Zambia: Education

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken to improve the provision of free primary education in Zambia since 2000. [211819]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: DFID has supported the provision of free primary education in Zambia since 2000 through two reform programmes; The Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Programme (1999-2002) and the Education Sector Strategic Plan (2003-07). The Basic Education Sub Sector Investment Programme together with Zambia's Free Primary Education policy increased enrolment by 10 per cent. and halved the number of children out of school. These programmes were financed by a multi-donor education fund to which DFID contributed £22.1 million.

Between 2000 and 2006 net enrolment rates in primary grades increased from 71 to 97 per cent. while primary school completion rates improved from 63 to 85 per cent. The number of children out of school in Zambia fell from around 600,000 in 1998 to 67,000 in 2005.

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From 1998-2005, DFID also funded a £10 million Primary Reading Programme which resulted in improvements of up to 500 per cent. in literacy performance in grades 1-3 in 2005 and overall improvements in the primary school completion exams at grade 7.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with which countries the
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UK is discussing extradition arrangements; and if he will make a statement. [209850]

Meg Hillier: I have been asked to reply.

The Government continue to keep their extradition relations with other states under review. Communications with foreign governments are confidential in order to preserve the confidence of the other state. This includes negotiations on potential extradition treaties.

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