Work Capability Assessment Independent Review

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he expects to appoint a successor to Professor Malcolm Harrington when he steps down from his role as independent reviewer of the work capability assessment. [125968]

Mr Hoban: The work capability assessment (WCA) was introduced in October 2008 to assess entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA). Section 10 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007 commits the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to lay an independent report before Parliament each year for the first five years of operation following its introduction.

Professor Harrington undertook and completed the first two independent reviews of the WCA and he expects to publish his third and final review before the end of the year. We will appoint Professor Harrington's successor in due course.

Prime Minister

Cleaning Services

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to require all cleaning contracts held with his Office to stipulate that the cleaning products used and their ingredients should not have been tested on animals. [125937]

Miss Chloe Smith: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

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The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office.

The Cabinet Office's total facilities management contract for its central London estate is with ETDE. ETDE already use cleaning chemicals which are not tested on animals. The cleaning contract for buildings outside of central London is with Mitie, who do not use products tested on animals.

Products used in cleaning services supplied to the Department are required to comply with the Government Buying Standards co-ordinated by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs:

International Development

Violence against Women

9. Jane Ellison: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how she plans to carry out her role as international violence against women champion. [125609]

Lynne Featherstone: As ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas, I am engaging foreign leaders and supporting women’s movements, to improve women’s rights, security and access to justice, and will ensure these messages are carried by all Government Ministers when travelling overseas.


10. Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is on the future of the UK’s bilateral aid relationship with India; and if she will make a statement. [125610]

Justine Greening: I had a very constructive discussion on the future of the bilateral aid programme with the Indian Finance Minister whilst at the World Bank meeting in Tokyo last week, and I will continue those discussions urgently in the coming weeks.

Millennium Development Goals

11. Debbie Abrahams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the need to promote and achieve millennium development goals 2 and 3 on universal education and gender equality. [125611]

Justine Greening: Both myself and the Under-Secretary of State for International Development, the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), have discussed the millennium development goals on education and gender with a range of Governments. I am determined to make sure girls and women are at the heart of everything we do.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

12. Mr Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment her Department has made of the humanitarian

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implications of Rwanda’s support for militia activity in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. [125612]

Justine Greening: The humanitarian situation in DRC has worsened, which is linked to the activities of the M23 and other militia. Regarding his point relating to Rwanda, the Group of Experts will formally report in December and I will critically asses the situation as of then.

Food Security

13. Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the effect of commodity food price speculation on food security in the developing world. [125613]

Lynne Featherstone: The coalition Government recognise the damaging impact of high food prices on poor consumers in developing countries. Based on our continued assessment of the evidence, we believe that changes in supply and demand, rather than speculation, are the main factors behind the recent spikes in global grain prices.


14. Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment her Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Rakhine state in Burma. [125614]

Mr Duncan: The recent increase in communal violence between the defacto stateless Muslim Rohingya and the majority Buddhist Rakhine communities has taken the reported number of displaced people to over 100,000. The majority lack food, safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.

A written ministerial statement today announces bilateral humanitarian support to provide urgent water, sanitation and nutrition support to more than 58,000 people.

Tax Evasion and Avoidance

15. Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the effect of tax evasion and avoidance on the development of a sustainable tax base in developing countries. [125615]

Lynne Featherstone: There is no international consensus on the precise cost of tax evasion and avoidance to developing countries. But tackling these problems is vital to increase tax revenue. DFID and HM Revenue and Customs provide technical assistance and capacity building in partner countries to enable them do this.


Bob Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is on provision of aid to non-government-registered schools in Bangladesh. [125291]

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Mr Duncan: There is no stand-alone policy on provision of aid to what are known as ‘registered non-government schools’ in Bangladesh. The terminology of ‘non-government-registered schools’ is not used. Nonetheless, DFID supports registered non-government primary schools through the Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP), Phase 3.

The main outcome of this programme (2011-17) by 2017 will be the improved quality of primary education in nearly 80,000 schools educating 16.8 million children. In addition, the completion rate in primary schools is expected to increase from 60% to 75%.


John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the average time taken by her Department to settle invoices to external suppliers or contractors was in each of the last three financial years. [125319]

Mr Duncan: As a central Government Department, DFID is required to comply with the prompt payment initiative. This requires that Departments aim to pay over 80% of valid invoices within five days of receipt (10 days for financial year 2009-10), with the remainder paid within 30 days of receipt.

Monthly performance rates against these targets are published on the DFID website at:

The average performance rates for the last three financial years, which are also published in our annual accounts, are:

Within five days

2011-12: 82.45%

2010-11: 78.56%

Within 10 days

2009-10: 90.74%.

Developing Countries: Agriculture

Mr Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will publish a list of bilateral agricultural projects funded by her Department since May 2010 providing the (a) size and (b) purpose of the project in each case. [125547]

Mr Duncan: Details of all agricultural projects funded by the Department for International Development and completed after August 2009 are on the Department's website at:

The database provides details on project budgets and purpose against relevant sector codes. For agricultural projects the headings for relevant sector codes are: Agricultural development, Agricultural land resources, Agricultural policy and administrative management, Agricultural research and Agricultural services.

Mr Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which bilateral projects focused on small-scale farmers in developing countries her Department has approved since May 2010. [125548]

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Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not track spending on ‘small-scale farmers' because this is not one of the standardised categories which all members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) use to describe how they allocate their resources. However, in at least 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, DFID is providing direct support for smallholders. Examples of on-going projects include:

supporting land tenure in Rwanda which will provide 4 million poor men and women with title to the land they farm;

supporting a Farm input Subsidy Programme in Malawi to help 1.5 million poor farmers increase their agricultural productivity.

DFID also invests in key multilateral organisations which provide support for smallholder agriculture. For example:

funding the International Fund for Agricultural Development to help smallholders in about 40 countries to adapt to climate change.

supporting the international agricultural research organisation, CGIAR, to develop drought-tolerant maize, which benefits more than 2 million smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Developing Countries: Fire Services

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much of her Department's budget is allocated to providing training for fire and rescue services in partner countries abroad; [125411]

(2) whether her Department has given consideration to providing financial assistance to developing countries to enable their fire and rescue service personnel to take up places at the UK's Fire Service College; [125412]

(3) how many (a) requests for and (b) offers of places at the Fire Service College have been made by or to staff employed by governments in partner developing countries. [125413]

Mr Duncan: Information on funding for fire and rescue services training provided by our country offices is not held centrally by DFID and can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. Decisions on issues such as providing assistance to fire and rescue services personnel are made at the country office level.

Information on the number of: (a) requests for, or (b) offers of places at the Fire Service College by staff employed by governments in partner developing countries is not held centrally by DFID.

Developing Countries: Health Services

Sir Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how her Department has measured the effects on health outcomes of its Making it Happen health worker training scheme in each of the countries where the scheme operates. [125298]

Mr Duncan: The Making it Happen Programme trains health workers to provide life-saving care for newborn babies and emergency obstetric care. The outcomes measured include changes in maternal death rates and incidence of stillbirth, changes in the number of women who give birth at health facilities and changes in the

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number of women receiving emergency obstetric care at participating health facilities for each year of the programme. All of these figures are compared against the baseline. Data for these indicators are gathered from health facility registers of maternal discharges, institutional births, maternal deaths and stillbirths. Data are then aggregated at country level and across all participating countries to give the respective averages.

Under the first phase of the Making it Happen programme (2009-11) there have been 2,711 workers trained in five countries. The outcome was an observed 25% reduction in maternal death rates and a 15% reduction in the proportion of babies who were stillborn at participating health facilities. Additionally, there was a 20% increase in the number of women giving birth at a health facility and a 55% increase in women receiving emergency obstetric care, relative to baseline.

Sir Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many health workers have been trained with her Department's support over the last three years. [125300]

Lynne Featherstone: The Department for International Development (DFID) estimates that 25% of its health budget is invested in human resources for health. We do not collect health worker data across all our health programmes, this is because our results are described in terms of health outcomes or impact (for example the number of births attended by skilled birth attendant, or reduction in maternal mortality).


Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to encourage the development of civil society organisations in Egypt. [125247]

Mr Duncan: DFID is working closely with other UK Departments to provide support for civil society organisations in Egypt. For example, we are funding the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to strengthen civil society in Egypt over the next three years by providing training in good governance, advocacy and network building.

Our work with the NCVO is funded through the Arab Partnership, run jointly by DFID and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The Arab Partnership supports those in the middle east and north Africa region who are working to build more stable, prosperous and inclusive societies.

International Assistance

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 6 September 2012, Official Report, column 379W, on international assistance, what the names are of the high-level panel members; what the location and schedule of meetings is; and what the outcome was of the first meeting which took place at the end of September. [125482]

Mr Duncan: For information on the high-level panel members please see the UN Secretary General's website:

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The first meeting was held on 25 September in New York and agreed that there would be four subsequent meetings. The next meeting will be held in London on 1 November and will cover household poverty. The following two meetings will be held in Monrovia and Bali early next year and will cover national and international issues respectively. The final meeting will be in New York to agree the panel's final report which is due by the end of June 2013.

For information on the outcomes of the first meeting in New York see the press release on the UN's website:

Press: Subscriptions

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to which magazines, journals and newspapers her Department subscribes. [125352]

Mr Duncan: DFID subscribes to the following print magazines, journals and newspapers:

Magazines, journals and newspapers

The Church Times

Daily Express

Daily Mail

Daily Mirror

Daily Telegraph

Eastern Eye

The Economist

Experimental Agriculture

Financial Times



Harvard Business Review

The Herald


Independent on Sunday


The Jewish Chronicle

The Lancet

Look magazine

Muslim Weekly


New England Journal of Medicine

New Scientist

New Statesman

The Observer

Private Eye



Social Science and Medicine

The Sun

The Sunday Telegraph

The Sunday Times

Times Education supplement

The Times

The Tribune

The Voice

World Development.

All of these publications have either carried pieces of interest to DFID or have written articles relating to DFID's work.