International Development - Minutes of EvidenceHC 657

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Oral Evidence

Taken before the International Development Committee

on Wednesday 31 October 2012

Members present:

Sir Malcolm Bruce (Chair)

Richard Burden

Pauline Latham

Jeremy Lefroy

Mr Michael McCann

Alison McGovern

Fiona O'Donnell

Chris White


Examination of Witnesses

Witnesses: Eveline Herfkens, Former Minister of Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Lawrence Haddad, Director, Institute of Development Studies, and Richard Morgan, Senior Adviser, Executive Office, UNICEF, gave evidence.

Q70 Chair: Good morning, and thank you very much for coming in. I apologise for being slightly late, and I apologise in advance that we have not actually extended the time available, so we are slightly compressed. As you may appreciate, it is DFID Questions this morning, so the Committee has to finish in time for that. We will finish this session at half past 10. We will obviously try to cover as much ground as possible but, if we can keep the questions and answers brief, we will just finish at 10.30. For the record, welcome; thank you for coming in. Could you just formally introduce yourselves?

Lawrence Haddad: Lawrence Haddad, Director of the Institute of Development Studies.

Eveline Herfkens: Eveline Herfkens, former development minister in the Netherlands, former member of the Board of the World Bank, former UN ambassador in Geneva, but let me stop there-oh, 10 years parliamentarian.

Richard Morgan: Morning. Richard Morgan, a Senior Adviser at UNICEF.

Q71 Chair: Thanks again. This is the context of the question: we have had the MDGs; we are now looking for their successors. What were the achievements of the MDGs, in your view, and where do you think they should go from here? It is a big question, but could you summarise very crispy what your own take is.

Richard Morgan: In our view, the Millennium Development Goals did help to crystallise and to prioritise a focus on human development, as an essential foundation for sustained progress. They did help to guide governments in decision making in developing countries in particular, as to where to focus their efforts and to mobilise resources. It took two or three years after they were formally adopted, in the early 2000s, but we did see a coming together of public support, bilateral support and governmental focus in the developing world around these goals. To that extent, in terms of mobilising resources and efforts, particularly the focus on some neglected areas of human development, like child health, basic education and, to some extent, nutrition and clean water, they were effective.

The other thing I would say in terms of achievement, and again something to be built on and extended, is that they catalysed efforts to improve data availability, data collection and data analysis in developing countries, such that, although I would say we are only halfway there, there is a lot more available in terms of householdlevel data now than there was 10 years ago. This again is something to build on.

If we are talking about where we go from here, our feeling is very much that there is significant unfinished business. Many millions of people, including poor families and children, are not yet reached and need to be reached still. There are many areas without basic services. At the same time, the agenda needs to be broadened out to address new challenges that have emerged since 2000, which I think are quite well known to the Committee.

Eveline Herfkens: I very much agree. I really believe that the Millennium Development Goals galvanised attention on issues of global poverty more than anything else ever in the development business has. That has been an incredible achievement. It really created this emerging collective consciousness in rich countries that we cannot live in affluence the way we do and, in the meantime, have that kind of extreme poverty. That is morally unacceptable. I am personally absolutely convinced that, without the Millennium Development Goals and the campaigns that went with them in several countries in Europe, the 2005 EU commitments on the 0.7% would never have been made. Not everybody lives up to them, but it was really a breakthrough after decades. I also believe, and if you interview civil society leaders in developing countries they would confirm this, that it really helped developing countries to empower citizens to hold their governments to account, and it forced governments thus to focus more in developing countries on the issue of poverty and some of these neglected social issues. I think that has been incredible.

It was really unique. It took 12 years to build international consensus on these goals, but it had never happened before. Every Government in the world signed up to them, at the highest political level-the financial institutions, the UN system, civil society and local authorities. It has been an incredible help in focusing this agenda. The fact that they were simple, tangible and that they had deadlines you could measure was very helpful. The building of that brand name has been a huge capital investment. Whatever the flaws, and I do not know if you want me to talk about these now, it is really throwing out the baby with the bathwater if we now say, "Okay, let’s do something totally different." Please do not destroy the huge capital that we have with that brand name. More or less all of these goals, as you know, are reducing by half, reducing by two thirds, etc, so we still have a lot of unfinished business. That does not mean that we should not think about the flaws. I am not sure if you want me to develop that now.

Chair: There will be opportunity to do that as the questions proceed.

Eveline Herfkens: Now or later?

Q72 Chair: I think you will be able to do that later. Lawrence, before you answer, you have specifically said that you think that the MDGs had little impact on the politics of developing countries. If that is the case, you could perhaps explain why you take that view, but also how, as we move forward, we could ensure that they do.

Lawrence Haddad: Thanks, Malcolm. I think my comment was about the policies. I do not think they have changed the policies that much. This is based on evaluations that I have read-two or three evaluations, one by Richard Manning, one by Andy Sumner and a couple of others-which basically say that the discourse has been changed quite a bit in developing countries and the poorer countries, but the policies themselves have not changed that much and it is really difficult to know whether the resource flows have changed a lot. I am going to get back to that in a second.

My reading of the evaluations of the MDGs is that it is difficult to be conclusive, because actually there was no monitoring and evaluation plan put in place at the beginning. There needs to be a monitoring and evaluation plan put in place in the next round of MDGs, so we can actually evaluate them. The evaluations say it has proved a rallying call and a rallying point for development across the world. It has probably led to increased ODA flows; it has probably skewed those flows more towards the poorer countries and subSaharan Africa; and it probably has directed those flows more towards the MDG sectors themselves, towards health and education. It has had an impact at that global level for sure. It has also had an impact in terms of a greater focus on outcomes rather than inputs just by themselves, so it has definitely had an impact on a lot of things, but it just has not had as big an input at the national level for some countries. For some countries, it has. Some countries you will see have adapted and adopted the MDGs for their own national purposes and goals. The evaluations say that, for the majority, it has not had as big an effect as we would have hoped.

Chair: That actually leads on to Richard Burden’s line of questioning.

Q73 Richard Burden: Could I just get your views on how far the next round should look towards global goals? On the one hand, I think as you said, Eveline, the fact that they have been global has meant, to some extent, that they have been easy to understand. At a global level, you can design targets that go with the goals relatively easily, but the problem can be that it does not always address inequalities between countries and sometimes inequalities within countries as well. Looking forward towards new goals, how far should they be global? How far should they include "developed countries" as well as developing countries? How can we ensure that the targets that go with them are relevant in all situations? For example, you may be able to apply targets on transparency, accountability and governance issues across the board and they would be relevant across the board. Issues such as safe drinking water may be much more relevant in some countries than others. How do we square that circle, would you say?

Richard Morgan: I would definitely suggest that there are issues that are going to have to be addressed globally. There needs to be global partnerships around them and global monitoring mechanisms as well. These are primarily issues coming out of the Rio+20 environmental sustainability agenda, which we think should be integrated together with the unfinished business, taking forward the work on the MDGs in one coherent framework. There would be a global element that would be to do, primarily, with environmental stewardship of the planet, and trying to find a balance between the need for development progress, the need for continuing economic growth to generate resources for human progress and protection of planetary resources.

There may as well be certain thematic issues that all societies would need to address in common. One we are concerned about, for example, is child poverty, which is an issue both for developed countries and obviously developing countries. Issues around human security, violence, trafficking and migration potentially affect all parts of the world as well. Potentially, there is a universal element that could be the subject of a set of global goals. At the same time, we would not suggest rigidity-that all countries, rich and poor, have to adopt exactly the same agenda. There should be plenty of scope for tailoring and adaptation where countries individually focus on what are the most relevant goals to them. It would need to be a balance between the two.

If I could just pick up very briefly on another thing you mentioned, which was inequalities, again we think this is an issue that is essential for all societies to look at and to consider how to address, but the nature of challenges in inequalities will be different from one country to the next. In some countries, it is very much an issue of gender inequalities; in others, it could be minority groups, geographical, persons with disabilities and so on. While inequalities might be a global theme for a new framework, they would need to be looked at country by country.

Eveline Herfkens: Let me first say that, originally, the goals were never meant to be cookiecut, onesizefitsall country by country. The fact that they have been adopted but then adapted at local level is great, because it is ridiculous to ask the same in 15 years’ time from Africa as from Brazil. That is why countries such as Vietnam said, "We are going to achieve that goal of halving poverty earlier," and Latin America said, "We are not doing just primary education." That has been great and we should continue to push that local adaptation.

In terms of global goals, one of the three flaws that I was going to mention was that the first seven goals basically all derived from UN conferences and summits 12 years before we actually agreed on the Millennium Declaration, but Goal 8 came up in Monterrey. Whatever was said at the conference in Monterrey in 2002 on aid, aid effectiveness, trade, etc, was actually never decently codified in Goal 8. That is one of the things I think should be improved. What rich countries should do to put an end to global poverty should be part and parcel of the new compact to make it a fair compact, where both parties have to achieve such an agenda. I am very sceptical about the idea that there will ever be a situation in which rich countries let themselves be monitored or policed by the international community on what they do domestically, but I at least have the hope that they would agree to be evaluated on what they do internationally, although the UN system is scared as hell to do so. Let us be honest about that. The policing should be from sovereign countries by their own parliaments and their own civil societies, at least.

In terms of sustainability goals, as far as that is possible we should beef up Goal 7 with whatever we can. I think it is pretty much an illusion. I have lived through these 15 years when we had to build up that consensus to reach the year 2000, and I simply do not see, from all the debates on sustainability, anything coming out there that, within 1015 years, could be signed on to by every government. I hope I am wrong, but let us not hold that hostage that, as long as we do not have this integration, let us forget about the Millennium Development Goals. This is exactly why developing countries are very suspicious about the intentions of rich countries to suddenly be so concerned about sustainability in terms of the environmental impact.

The inequality issue: one of the great things you mentioned is that the goals led to better data. I remember when we were agreeing about the goals. Where I come from politically, you do care about inequality; nowadays, everybody does. The President of the US said it is the defining issue of our time. Everybody who read The Economist two weeks ago saw a beautiful quote from the IMF that inequality is now at the extent that it hampers growth. We simply did not have data at the time. It was not just that we could not get political consensus. By now, I think there are lots of ways in which you can deal with the inequality issue, like the new Human Development Report techniques to build in inequality measures. The problem with the goals is they are averages, averages, averages. They really hide the ugly underbelly of globalisation in inequality. Something can be done about it.

What made it worse is another flaw of the goals. Goal 1 has actually been neglected. For us development ministers, for you development committees of parliament, for civil society, it was so much easier to go after the social goals, to have these stovepiped targeted budgetary earmarks. My God, my parliament wanted me to say, "20% for education. 10% for health." That is what they could track. But to deal with poverty, there is the need for a way more complex issue of policies and programmes. It is way more difficult to go back to your taxpayers and parliament to say, "I have lifted people out of poverty," than to say, "I got a thousand kids to schools, thanks to our taxpayers’ money." That neglect has been pretty lethal. The whole issue of jobs and income security has been neglected.

I was part of the Bachelet Advisory Group constituted by the ILO and the World Health Organization, which came out with a report on social protection, which gives incredible examples of very successful programmes, cash transfers, a minimum of health insurance for everybody in Rwanda-very feasible, by now evaluated and a great way to indeed give income security to people. Poverty, at the end of the day, more than anything else, is insecurity. Where does my next meal come from? What if there is a health catastrophe in our family? It is creating very basic social protection. 10 years ago I thought this was nonsense; this was Europeans exporting their own values. Now today, developing countries are showing the way with very efficient, very targeted systems, which really lift people out of poverty.

Cash transfers, for instance, helped achieve all the other MDGs, which I found most interesting. If you look at the South African cash transfer to pensioners, the first impact is that it helped to send their grandkids to school. It is a beautiful new instrument. Instead of throwing the Millennium Development Goals out of the window, we should give a bit more beef to that first goal. How are we going to deal with inequality? How are we going to deal with income insecurity? How are we going to deal with jobs? If you deal with jobs, it also gives you more beef for a new Goal 8, because it is not just aid; it is trade. Let us allow more agroprocessing in Africa; that will create jobs, particularly for women. Migration and all these broader issues, not just aid, can be on the agenda if you take that angle, I think. Let me leave it at this.

Lawrence Haddad: The politics are difficult, but you have to start with a set of goals that embrace every country in the world. You have to do this for a number of reasons. One, the world has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. The old boundaries of developed and developing are breaking down. Lower and middle income do not really mean that much anymore. They are just World Bank accounting terms, it seems to me. We have gone way beyond aid as the main resource for development finance. We are in a different world than we were in the 1990s. It seems to me that you need to have goals that apply to every country. Why is that? Every country’s actions affect everyone else in the world. Connectivity is much greater than it used to be. If one country is emitting huge amounts of CFCs, that is going to affect everyone. If one country is supporting tax havens that are promoting illegal financial flows, that affects everybody. If one country is obstructing free and fair trade, that affects everybody. Development matters everywhere in the world for everybody else.

Also, having these goals apply to every country is going to promote multilateralism. We are in a real crisis in terms of multilateralism. There is very little faith in it; there is very little optimism about it. A set of goals that everybody has a stake in, not just for other countries but also for their own country, is really important; it is an underpinning for multilateralism.

Finally, some of the issues that we are dealing with-sustainability issues, emissions, resource use, peace, justice, transparency and corruption-are issues that, as you have said, Malcolm, every country can and should monitor, because they affect everybody else. Some of the goals, $1 a day, $2 a day, are going to be very difficult to apply to every country but, as Richard said, not every goal has to apply to every country. We need to be sensible about that. The final reason for saying they have to apply to every country is there is a solidarity component to all of this. I felt the MDGs were really important of their time, but they did create an usandthen dynamic. We need to get away from that usandthem dynamic.

Eveline Herfkens: Let me react to this. I would like to agree with you, but the problem is political feasibility. I simply see it not happening that rich countries would allow the UN to force them to adopt certain policy goals domestically. It has been so important for the goals that they were signed on to by every head of state and head of government in every country in the world. The empowerment of civil society in developing countries comes from the fact that their own government, at the highest level, has signed on to it. If we do things, we maybe can agree in this room. I am not sure if we would but, if we did, it would be great. But, if you cannot get that out of the United Nations, all of them, you actually destroy one of the most important things about these goals, and that is the international consensus, commitment and signature of every head of state and head of government, which allowed people in countries that do not see government as their servant, but as their father, to actually hold governments to account. At the end of the day, development will only happen if people in developing countries hold their governments to account. The MDGs were a weapon for that, and I would be really afraid that, if we lose this international broad consensus about them, that might get lost.

Lawrence Haddad: It might. Politics is really what determines all of this. The whole process is hugely political and all the technical analysis is second tier really.

Chair: In front of us is this dilemma that we have to address.

Q74 Fiona O'Donnell: Good morning. My first question is in two parts. The first part is that it is generally recognised now that the majority of poor people live in middleincome countries, so how can new development goals reflect on that? The second part comes from a recent paper coauthored by Homi Kharas, which argues that, by 2025, we will again see a concentration of poverty in lowincome and primarily fragile countries. Given new development goals are likely to span a period greater than 10 years, how can they shift from concentrating on tackling poverty in middleincome countries back to lowincome?

Richard Morgan: Two quick points on this: the first is that, yes, most middleincome countries have significant pockets of poverty and deprivation; unreached populations, families and people still in poverty. That is for sure. Again, it comes back to the question of looking at inequalities, disaggregating national data, drilling down as far as possible to local situations to understand why people in middleincome countries are still poor and otherwise deprived, and finding what are the national policies or subnational local approaches that can relieve that poverty and deprivation. Part of our work in the UN, having a presence in almost all middleincome countries, is to encourage and work with governments, to look at available data and information, to disaggregate and understand the barriers that people are still facing to coming out of poverty and addressing deprivation. That would be the one, looking at inequalities.

The second is also very important: Homi Kharas’s paper and the projection suggest that, after a certain point, the balance of poverty and deprivation will shift again, in a sense back to fragile and conflictaffected states, states with very weak institutions, countries that are not able to deliver. We see already in the UN the focus of our spending is very much on a group of 20, 30 or 40 countries in the poorest parts of the world that are not able, at this point, to deliver basic services. Somehow, there has to be a provision or a recognition in the new framework that there will be a group of countries that will need support with institution building, with capacity for basic service delivery and for dealing with fragility and conflict in various ways. There needs to be some recognition of that, linked to support, I would say.

Eveline Herfkens: In terms of where the poor are, there are two different issues. One is the international policy discourse. We are talking about poverty; we are doing studies about it, etc. The second is where you spend your development pounds. In that second part, I am very clear, as a former development minister. Middleincome countries do not need external concessional resources to deal with their poverty. They can fix that themselves. It is not a money issue; it is an issue of political will. The good news is that many middleincome countries are actually doing the right thing. I am incredibly delighted by the fact that Latin America is the one continent where inequality actually goes down. All these beautiful examplescash transfers and so on are homegrown programmes there. For me as a continental European, they are very interesting, after the failure of all the systems they have imported from us. There is a lot of good news from middleincome countries. Where there is political will, they can actually deal with that. They do not need external concessional resources.

For me, it is very clear. If I was a development minister today, I would continue to focus on subSaharan Africa, not only because that is the investment for 20 years from now, but also because middleincome countries really do not need our grants to take care of that. There are enough best practices now for how to deal with extreme poverty in middleincome countries, which they can share. The good news is that there is a lot of SouthSouth co-operation going on about how cash transfers work and how electronic ID cards can help with targeting, reaching and giving basic insurance. They just have to have the political will and implement that. There is nothing that we foreigners can do or say that can help. Let us be realistic about that.

In subSaharan Africa, fragile states are an issue that we have always been struggling with. The inability to do something really useful there is the biggest failure of the donor community. I still believe in whatever we can do to empower people to foster peace, but ultimately it is for Africa itself. I am quite optimistic about the fact that, in an increasing number of countries in Africa, people take charge. I just came from Accra; I flew overnight. Last night, I saw the presidential debate there. It is incredibly responsible democracy there. I was just thinking, "This is better quality debate, not only compared to the presidential debates that all of us have been following recently, but including the quality of debates in my own country, the Netherlands." Governance and the discussion about issues, accountability to voters, are increasing incredibly, and they are increasingly African institutions that we should empower and allow.

If there is one thing that I have learned over 35 years-I am getting really old-my whole life in this business, it is that on governance issues, lectures of foreigners and conditionality simply do not work. What we should do as donors is not again create another think tank or another channel that is based in London, The Hague or Washington. Empower the African institution. Countries in Africa have had it with the World Bank lecturing them, but they do listen to the African Development Bank. They do, because they regard it as their institution. I came from Accra because I am on the board of a fantastic new African organisation, the African Center for Economic Transformation, which gives advisory services. They are Africans advising Africans. That really works and that is what DFID should support. Why should we channel our money through the IDA if the client base is the same as the African Development Fund? They have their own institution. Empower what is there. I think that would help.

Q75 Fiona O'Donnell: Can I just check then, Eveline? Would you not give development aid to a middleincome like India? Is that what you are saying?

Eveline Herfkens: I would not. I definitely would not, absolutely not. It is not going to solve anything.

Lawrence Haddad: I will try to be brief, because I think time is running out. I have not read Homi’s paper but my colleague Andy Sumner has. His critique is that they have been very optimistic about growth rates and they have been very optimistic about the ability of those growth rates to translate into poverty reductions, from the paper that he has written on middle and lowincome countries. Whatever your view on that particular paper, ODA is going to be focused on fewer and fewer countries, as we move forward, and that is good news. We are going to have to figure out how the MDGs apply to countries where, by and large, ODA is negligible or nonexistent. I think the answer is around accountability, commitment and transparency, building civil society’s capacity to hold their own governments to account. That seems to me the big issue. The ‘golden thread’ components are very relevant to that particular agenda.

Q76 Fiona O'Donnell: Could I just ask for a brief answer to the second question? Since Gleneagles, the development landscape has changed from where it was mainly OECD countries giving aid. We now have large private foundations like the Gates Foundation and middleincome countries giving aid. How should the new development goals reflect that?

Richard Morgan: The new framework should not assume that the primary support in co-operation is going to be donor to developing country. It should take account of what you say is a very multipolar world. There has been mention of SouthSouth and learning from documented good practices, the knowledge transfer and the ‘how to’: how to deliver programmes, how to reach the poorest people in a sustainable way. This is possibly the most important resource that we have, which is underutilised. I am not thinking so much, admittedly, of the financial transfer issue, but facilitating countries to talk to each other and share experience, from government to government, but also civil society organisations across countries as well, using best practices on things that work and have been proven to be successful.

Eveline Herfkens: I was very much involved in the runup to Busan, which was basically an effort to get the new donor community on board on the DAC agenda, the agreed Rome, Paris and Accra Declarations. I am not very optimistic about the degree by which we were successful in getting new donor support for this. It is really hard to tell countries that they should allow ownership, they should not tie aid and they should not do this or the other. We have only recently, as all donors, embarked on better manners on these issues, so what is actually our credibility? I do not think there is much we can do about that. It very much depends on the degree to which African countries themselves stand up and are tough with all their donors. One of the things that the African institution I just came from is doing is trying to create common negotiation discussions to empower African governments to deal with some of these new biggies.

What I am most concerned about is that, for a long time, the old good DAC donors are going to give the bulk of ODA. It is going to be a long time before the others catch up and become really relevant. Some of the old DAC donors have been using this bigger forum, where everybody is around, to forget about the old commitments, which some of them never implemented in the first place. If I were you, I really would be very concerned about the fact that the whole aid effectiveness agenda across Europe is actually going slightly out of the window. The fig leaf is that there is now a new debate with all these new donors, so nobody is going to notice that I still have my old very bad practices of tying aid, micromanaging, parallel structures, etc. That is my biggest concern, because that will still be the bulk of the money.

I see the potential for a terrific division of labour. We were never that good at capacity building. If you look at all the information, capacity building is what we failed most at. For instance, on this wonderful subject of cash transfers, the experience is in Brazil and Mexico. These countries can, through SouthSouth direct flow, which is happening, help build up experience in poorer countries and build up the capacity to do this. What these new donors do not do are budget support and funding issues. It would be a very good division of labour if Brazil advised a country in the way it could do a cash transfer programme or simple health insurance, and then let us, the traditional ones, spend part of our money through budget support to actually help fund these programmes in a longterm multiyear way, saying, "This is for five years and then we have to be sure that your budget will supply whatever is needed at that point." That is a very good way to do this in practice.

Lawrence Haddad: It is true that overseas development assistance is becoming much more diverse, in terms of the types of countries and the numbers of countries, especially in the humanitarian space, actually-Turkey, Pakistan, you name it, in regional theatres. You can look at that as a positive diversification or a fragmentation, depending on which way you want to look at it, but these development goals are going to be delivered by domestic resources, by taxes. Tax revenues in subSaharan Africa are increasing rapidly. We need to support the capacity of the state to generate taxes and spend them in proper ways.

Chair: Thank you for endorsing our recent report on that. I am just conscious of the fact that we have 15 minutes and I have five colleagues to bring in. Can we be crisp, Chris White?

Q77 Chris White: Thank you, Chair. I do appreciate that time is short. All I will say is that I think you have left some questions for me hanging in the air, and I wish we had longer. The concept of Brazil giving the advice and us giving the money, I do not know how that model particularly works. On middleincome countries, what if they do not have the political will? Do we just abandon them? Some of those messages might need to be looked at a little bit deeper. The questions I want to ask were in regard to data lags or time lags. You have mentioned data in your previous responses. Very little data will be available in 2015 for 2015. Do you think we should be using 2010 figures perhaps as the data baseline?

Richard Morgan: If I could speak on the data first, I think we would have available a new series of household surveys from around 60 developing countries. These are supported by UNICEF and others, as well as demographic and health surveys supported by the US Government. Between 80 and 90 countries will have data later than 2010, so for around 2012 and 2013, which will be available for 2015 as a baseline. The time lag, in fairness, has been getting shorter over the last 10 to 15 years. It was a fiveyear cycle; we have attempted to move it to a threeyear cycle, as of the last couple of rounds of household data, so 2012 and 2013 is a two to threeyear time lag, including the analysis, the data cleaning and so forth. That is the best we can expect.

I wanted to add on data the very quick point that we would hope, going forward, that there would be more use of qualitative data, in an appropriate way, with the appropriate safeguards, but also data that come directly from the community level using SMStype technology and people reporting themselves, as citizens, on their own situations and the situation of their health facilities and their kids going to school. This could also provide a basis for understanding how well we are doing on development, in addition to these periodic household surveys, which, as you say, have the big time lag. It is that combination.

Q78 Chris White: A second question, which I am trying to make as brief an answer as possible, but it is probably one of the bigger questions: the original MDGs had a 25year timeline. What people want is to see targets; they want to see outcomes and results. 25 years is a very long time. Do you agree that there should be some interim targets put into that process?

Richard Morgan: One would answer yes, interim targets regularly updated, maybe every three to five years, through serious review processes.

Eveline Herfkens: Yes, feeding into summits every five years.

Richard Morgan: Into a longerterm framework.

Lawrence Haddad: This is part of a monitoring and evaluation plan that has to accompany the new set of goals, it seems to me. I would also go further; I would set up a challenge fund for matching funds for data collection. Countries would put in some funds of their own and there would be a matching challenge fund to help them with data systems. The UK runs its economy on the basis of data. We have uptotheminute data, well, sort of uptotheminute data. Why would we expect anyone else to run their development programmes with such terrible data? We completely underinvest in data, all of us.

Eveline Herfkens: That was the great thing about the MDGs: they created a demand, finally, for data.

Alison McGovern: Bureaucracy is not all bad then, we have discovered.

Eveline Herfkens: Is data bureaucracy?

Q79 Alison McGovern: I just have two brief questions, following on from Chris’s questions. One of my concerns about the MDG process is that, if we get to 2015 and we are trying to build for the future on an unstable platform, because we lack credibility because the MDGs were not met, how do we resolve that dilemma of having goals not met whilst we are looking for new goals? Secondly, Eveline, if I can ask you, you said there is nothing we can do as foreigners in relation to poverty in middleincome countries. Is that right? That means that I, as a parliamentarian in Britain, am not supposed to care about poverty in any other country. That does not feel quite right to me, and I just wondered if that was what you meant.

Eveline Herfkens: I did not mean you should not care, but I think you should not have much of an illusion that, whatever you do as a parliamentarian or as a development minister, for that matter, can really make a difference in countries such as India, where-I do not know the data for today-when I was a minister, foreign aid was less than 1% of 1% of their GDP, really nothing. How can you actually make a difference? If you channel through NGOs, you can always make a difference within small communities. Every human life that is improved because of that is worth celebrating, but it does not have that policy impact. It will not be scaled up or anything, unless the Government wanted to do something about it already and it would have done that without our aid. It is just not the best way to use official development aid, if the impact is basically humanitarian. There is nothing wrong with saving lives and feeding kids that otherwise would not be fed, but it will not have any leverage or be upscalable unless the Government really wanted to do it in the first place, and it would have done it then, with or without your aid. I do not want to be cynical, but there is such a scarcity of ODA, I really think we should spend it where it is most needed and where it is most effective.

Richard Morgan: What countries like China say to us is they still want UNICEF and the UN to be there for policy, when they ask us for it, based on international standards-our advice on policy issues regarding children and other issues-and for good examples and sometimes for piloting. Things that are done in a few districts of China, new ways of teaching, education approaches, if they work, the Government will take and roll out nationally or more broadly. There is a role. Countries are saying, "We want you to have that role, but it is a role that is very different from the traditional resource transfers," as Eveline was saying.

Eveline Herfkens: And it does not cost much money.

Richard Morgan: On the credibility issue, there is a very good story to be told about progress over the last 10 to 15 years, even if we go back 20 years. Numbers of children in school and rates of enrolment are unprecedented. Child deaths are at levels that are historically the lowest ever recorded. Poverty has been reduced with all the caveats. Clean water access is at unprecedentedly high access levels. Even if the specific targets have not been met, and in some areas they have been seriously underachieved, there is enough of a story to tell there of success, of historically unprecedented progress, to be able to build on. It just needs the story to be told in a positive way.

Eveline Herfkens: Particularly in the LDCs; the rate of progress there has been the highest.

Lawrence Haddad: I would agree that you can either make it a glass half empty or a glass half full story. The glass half full is very compelling; you could make a very compelling story. On the middleincome countries, I am sorry; I just do not really consider India to be a middleincome country. The average GDP per person is $1,200. The World Bank says it is a middleincome country, but I do not consider that middle income. You cannot be too mechanistic about these things. China’s GDP per capita is four times India’s; Brazil’s is seven or eight times India’s. We tend to lump these three countries together all the time, but they are very different. I do not see how you can not try to spend some money doing something for the 400 million or 500 million people who are below the poverty line in India.

I would agree with Richard on the role that the UK Government can play in terms of piloting things, taking risks that the Government feels it cannot take and helping some states that are very poor-I have made these arguments to you before-and do not have the capacity to leverage federal funds, as is the case in Nigeria too, to help them access federal funds from the centre. There are lots of roles that ODA can play but, yes, it is a very small percentage of a small percentage, and that is fine, but it still has a very catalytic role to play.

Chair: I think you are in tune with us on that as well, Lawrence, from our report in India. We have five minutes and three colleagues.

Q80 Jeremy Lefroy: The middleincome definition is extremely broad, about $1,000 to $13,000, so it may be worth having a comment on whether you think that should be revisited. My specific question is: MDG 1 is a relative target and MDG 2 and others are universal targets. There has been an argument that universal targets are more effective. Would you agree with that?

Lawrence Haddad: I do not have a strong view on that, I am afraid.

Eveline Herfkens: Particularly because I believe these are targeted at a global level and it is very important that, country by country, people and their governments look at what would be both ambitious but still feasible enough in our particular situation, I am very much for global consensus. These are the issues that matter. The degree to which you can get progress on them really depends country by country.

Richard Morgan: For income poverty, there are two possibilities, the absolute and the relative, but I think virtually all the other targets we can think of in terms of human development, you can look at as universal targets-getting to zero on child deaths, on stunting as well. I wanted to mention stunting, because it is part of the MDG 1 current construct. It is one of the indicators. It is a very good composite measure of how well people are doing in their earliest years of life, which relates closely to household income, access to healthcare and so on. It is directly measurable and there is great potential for very good data on that, as a very powerful indicator. If we look at getting to zero on a lot of these human development indicators, it can be a very powerful thing for governments to embrace. Why would they not want to eradicate stunting and preventable child deaths, and have all children in school?

Eveline Herfkens: One thing, if you want to tinker with all this, that I think is really important to do is, one way or another, introduce the inequality issue. Again, the HDR methodology does that for all the goals. You can also for Goal 1 look at the Gini coefficient, etc. There are a lot of ways to introduce the inequality issue. What the Millennium Development Goals with all these averages basically do is put a premium on government action that lifts people who are just below that floor up, leaving behind those who are really the most vulnerable and weak. Looking at the methodology to see what you can do, there are a lot of ideas there. I thought your HDR thing of UNICEF was terrific. Very good work was done. That is the most important.

Q81 Pauline Latham: David Cameron believes a "golden thread" of governancerelated issues is key to development. Do you agree and, if so, what role should governance play in the post2015 framework?

Eveline Herfkens: On governance in poor countries?

Pauline Latham: Yes.

Eveline Herfkens: I said earlier that lectures from foreigners and conditionalities from the World Bank have not achieved much at all. I strongly believe, in the case of Africa, that investing in African institutions that are credible and raise these issues is way more effective than us lecturing. I did a lot, but so did you, to strengthen parliamentary committees, to strengthen general accounting officers, which is the American word. What is the English word? I always forget that.

Jeremy Lefroy: Public accounts.

Eveline Herfkens: Yes, strengthening that. There is a lot you can do in terms of empowering civil society, the kind of civil society that does not build schools but that organises the citizens to demand that the Government lives up to its commitment to build a school. These are the ways to go. A development minister flying in and out is almost counterproductive, I sometimes think. World Bank conditionality is out of the window the moment the money is pocketed; forget it. The African Development Bank has a better record for being effective. Again, this African Center for Economic Transformation does advisory services on public financial management.

Finally let me mention that those of us development ministers who started with budget support, a decade ago now, have been very happy to see how much that led to improved public financial management. For the first time, there was both a demand and a supply of serious support and discussions about the quality of financial management. That means that we who gave budget support not only saw that our taxpayers’ money was being spent better, but that the improved financial and public management was applied to all the public expenditures, which are always of course multiple, way more than the few pounds or euros that we give. That has actually improved that part of governance a lot. Public financial management is not everything but, if you spend taxpayers’ money, it is not an irrelevant part of it.

Lawrence Haddad: The "golden thread" narrative is an important one. I think it has been described as a set of building blocks. I have written about it and said, yes, it is one set of building blocks, but there many others that could be picked that are also equally important for development. Many of the "golden thread" components-transparency, the media, accountability, justice, security, the rule of law and all of those things-actually appear in the Millennium Declaration, so they are very consistent with what the MDGs are trying to do. They have to be woven into the MDGs in one way or another, but again the nuance is everything. The way in which you do this is everything. If the rich countries are not doing it, it seems to me it is a nonstarter to be incorporated in the MDGs, so they also have to subject themselves to these kind of transparency dimensions, it seems to me. The main problem with the "golden thread", however, is that it is all about the rules of the game. The rules of the game are that you have to be fair, transparent and blah, blah, blah. If they are not, there need to be recourse mechanisms. It assumes everyone has an equal capacity to play the game and they do not. That is the big problem with it.

Eveline Herfkens: Can I just add that the problem with these issues and why they are not a Millennium Development Goal is also because they are very hard to measure? There is no beginning of agreement of what actually the definition of democracy is, for instance. There are different definitions and ideas about what the essence of democracy is between the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and France. It is very hard. The great thing about the Millennium Goals was you could measure them; there was agreement about targets. That is the reason we did not do it 12 years ago. I have not seen a solution since.

Lawrence Haddad: We have had lots of governance indicators now, in the last 12 years.

Eveline Herfkens: The World Bank’s, yes.

Lawrence Haddad: There are lots of different sources.

Eveline Herfkens: But no agreement.

Chair: I do not know whether you have to go and catch a plane, Eveline. We have two quick questions so, if you do have to go, we will understand.

Q82 Mr McCann: This question would be premised on the belief that the Sustainable Development Goals should be incorporated in the post2015 process. On that premise, do you believe that there should be one single sustainable goal or that each of the post2015 components should have sustainability as part of them?

Lawrence Haddad: I think the latter: each of the goals should have sustainability built into them, in one way or another. The MDGs operated in an unconstrained world, if you know what I mean. We did not really care about how many resources were used to drive these numbers, because the numbers are so dire and something needed to happen, but we now also recognise that there are tradeoffs between generations and we somehow have to deal with the inequality within generations, at the same time as we are dealing with it across generations. If you have two ways of reducing poverty that are equally effective and one uses less resources than the other one, you need to know which one is using less resources and do it. Resource use and emissions are absolutely vital to build into as many of the goals as you possibly can.

Q83 Chair: The final one is that I have actually had the opportunity of being briefed by your team, Lawrence, on your "Participate" initiative. I do not know whether other members of the Committee have. Is it going to feed into the process? Is it going to be timely? What is DFID looking for? Given that some funding is coming from DFID, what are they expecting out of it?

Lawrence Haddad: You will have to ask DFID at DFID Questions. There are at least three processes informing the MDG/SDG debate, at least for the HighLevel Panel. One of them is the UN process. The other ones are a process that I think Clare and others are involved in, which is using crowd sourcing technology to get a very broad take. The one that we are involved in is called "Participate" with "Beyond 2015". That is more of a deep dive into a number of different communities, asking people about their aspirations, the barriers and the problems that they face.

The results will feed in directly as they emerge. We have agreed to share the raw material as it comes out, anonymised obviously, with Amina and her team, so that is fine. The aspiration is that you are actually talking to people who do not normally get heard. Getting the MDGs in the first place was a huge accomplishment and I do not mean to diminish that at all, but it did not really engage many people who are actually suffering in poverty. We were determined, together with our "Beyond 2015" colleagues, that we would kick up a fuss about this, so that it was not the case this time around. Whether it will lead to anything new and generate any new insights, we do not know. We think it is really important to do it for the credibility of the process, and I suspect it will generate some new insights for some communities, in some places, with some issues.

Chair: We will watch that with interest, because it is very important that this process is more inclusive.

Lawrence Haddad: They are briefing the HighLevel Panel tomorrow, I think.

Richard Morgan: If I may, Chair, we would hope that this practice of consultation actually becomes routine over time. We will use new technology to give people at community and local levels the opportunity to continually feed back on what is happening in Government performance. That will be part of an emphasis on governance that people will continue to have a voice and channels and mechanisms to do that.

Chair: That will be really worthwhile. I think you can see from the Committee that we have been constrained by time more than we would have wished to have been, but thank you for your co-operation. It has been really helpful. There are a lot of questions out there, but you are really helping us focus on some of the answers and some of the conflicts that have to be resolved. That is much appreciated. I say this to everybody but if, afterwards on reflection, there is anything that occurs to you that you feel you wanted to mention or draw to our attention, please get back in touch. We would be very happy to take it on board as supplementary evidence. Thank you all very much indeed.

Examination of Witnesses

Witnesses: Jamie Drummond, Executive Director, ONE, Brendan Cox, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Save the Children, and Dr Amy Pollard, Lead Analyst on PostMDGs, CAFOD, gave evidence.

Q84 Chair: We know who you are, but just briefly introduce yourselves, please, so that we can move on.

Dr Pollard: I am Dr Amy Pollard. I am the Lead Analyst at CAFOD on post2015, and I am also coChair of the "Beyond 2015" campaign, which comprises over 420 organisations from around the world in over 80 countries.

Brendan Cox: I am Brendan Cox. I am the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children.

Chair: When he comes in, the third witness is Jamie Drummond, who is Executive Director from ONE. He will just join us. We are constrained for time and we have to finish before 11.30 for DFID Questions. Welcome, Jamie; I have introduced you.

Jamie Drummond: Thanks very much. Sorry I’m late.

Q85 Chair: In terms of how broad the successor to the MDGs should be, a lot of people say they should incorporate human rights into the framework. If that is the case, what human rights should it incorporate and, in particular, do you have a view about women’s rights and gender issues within that context, bearing in mind that the overarching declarations incorporate those anyway?

Brendan Cox: The proviso to this, and there is a broad consensus amongst civil society, is that the replacement framework will only have power and purchase if the current framework retains a degree of political engagement and political prioritisation, right through to the end of 2015. If the current framework does not continue to get purchase and if there is no effort to reach the existing goals, the replacement framework will not have political credibility, no matter how bold or ambitious it is. That would be the slight precursor to that.

In terms of how ambitious and broad, those are two slightly different questions. On ambition, we would say that these goals need to be in fact much more ambitious than the previous goals. There is an opportunity to reach a tipping point in human development where, for the first time in human history, no child dies from preventable diseases; no mother dies in childbirth in a way that could be prevented; everybody is lifted from absolute poverty. Those are things that we have strived for, for many generations, which for the first time are actually feasible. That ambition is one that should be absolutely at the heart of these goals.

In order to have that ambition though, it will require focus. What we want to avoid is a framework that ends up being a long shopping list of every development priority that we could talk about, which tries to solve all of the world’s problems in one framework. This, from our point of view, needs to start with a really clear answer to the question of what the purpose of these goals is. In our view, the core purpose of these goals is to change the incentive structure for the world’s poorest people. The world’s poorest billion or so people around the world, the most marginalised people, do not have the political and economic power to make sure that governments and others respond to their needs. We think this framework can play a small but really important role in changing that incentive balance. Once you are clear on that purpose that gives a much better sense of how you prioritise goals. If you look at sustainability in that context, absolutely sustainability will be an important component part, but it will not be at the centre of this. The centre of this will be changing that political prioritisation and changing those incentives.

In terms of human rights, to answer that very briefly, we think the best way of doing that is by moving from some of the aggregate targets that you have had in the current goals to global goals. When I say "global goals", what I mean is that, instead of setting a reduction of two thirds in child mortality or a reduction in half in the number of poverty, move those to absolute targets. You can have, as I said at the beginning, zero child deaths, zero maternal deaths and zero number of people out of school. Those are achievable and I think they are the best way of talking about these in a rightsbased framework.

Dr Pollard: To look specifically at the human rights approach, for CAFOD, human rights are absolutely critical and very important. We want to stress that we are not starting from scratch with this agreement. There is obviously a huge range of conventions and accepted agreements on human rights that any future framework would need to be consistent with. In terms of what Brendan was saying about purpose, we would also stress that getting the purpose right around this process, and being very clear about what the rationale for a framework is, is the critical question at this juncture. Before we start getting into the detail of how specific issues need to be incorporated into the framework, it is critical that we get that purpose agreed as to what the framework is going to achieve. I will talk about that a bit more in a minute, I hope.

For us, the key way that the framework can be delivering process is to be securing political action and accountability. Human rights is obviously something that is particularly sensitive and a challenging issue to get through a complex intergovernmental process. We think that that is going to require very careful handling. From the "Beyond 2015" side, I would say that, of all the issues that the organisations we work with have very close to their hearts, human rights and a humanrightsbased approach are perhaps the issues that gather greater support and generate deeper passion than anything else. Balancing what is possible politically with what is acceptable from some of those most passionate voices within civil society will be a major challenge. If the framework is not able to incorporate human rights in a satisfactory way, that may be the difference between whether or not civil society as a whole backs a future framework or feels that it is a disappointment.

Jamie Drummond: I would just like to add that we are all development advocacy organisations fundamentally. If you had Amnesty International on this panel, you might get some more strident responses on the importance of human rights within the development framework, but getting more obliquely at the rights through pushing for development outcomes is extremely ambitious, visionary and extraordinary, and it is very hard to achieve getting to zero by 2030. We will get obliquely at a lot of that ability for people to access their rights. The process by which we decide what the new goals should be could also embed and empower the idea that the poorest are actually heard and we ask their opinions genuinely. That is probably one of the best ways to ensure that we get at the rights, but obliquely. We cannot really expect a two or twoandahalfyear process through the General Assembly to get done things that decades of work on human rights elsewhere has not been able to force certain governments to agree to.

We have to be realistic about that, but use the process as best we can to obliquely achieve some of these outcomes, and try to embed the principles that people should get access to data about development in their communities and in their countries. They should get access to data about the resources they are supposed to have available to them for development at a local level. If we get those kinds of wins into the way we go about trying to achieve these extremely ambitious development goals, we will do an incredible thing towards empowering people to improve their access to human rights at a local level. There could be a request for something different and special in the next set of goals that was not achieved especially in the first lot. In full disclosure, the original organisation I set up was called DATA. Data can be very hard for people to get excited about, but if we do not know the facts of the matter, it is very hard to measure progress. We have struggled a little from the development goals that we have to measure progress. We should make damn sure that, for the next set of goals, we can really measure progress by having much better data, and a stepchange investment in that.

Q86 Chair: We have had that discussion with the previous panel. That was an interesting point. Is the problem though that, if you have these high aspirations, they almost become meaningless? We have all these declarations and rights. If you look at the countries with the biggest problems of poverty, part of the reason they have those problems is that the Government and society simply does not recognise those rights, so they become meaningless; whereas specific targets to say that you should at least be able to be fair, your children should be able to go to school, are more realistic. The dilemma is that, if you aim too high, you become less practical and too visionary. Is that a fair balance of concern?

Brendan Cox: What we are definitely saying is that we want to retain the specificity of the existing goal framework. What none of us want, I think, is to move to a broad aspirational language where you take the measurability and the specificity out of the current framework. Absolutely we need to retain that. I think there is a way that you can do that while basing those on fundamental rights. For example, you have a goal to ensure that every child goes to school and that they come out of that school with a basic level of reading and writing. That is the right to education. Using the target and using the specificity is a much better way of driving process, driving policy and getting political purchase over people, rather than just a broad rights language.

Dr Pollard: I would add to that. You have to be very clear about what it is exactly that can be achieved with a targets/goals indicator framework, and the valueadd of that that is different from the other declarations and the other kinds of tools that we have in international policymaking. CAFOD has just produced a theory of change, which we included in our written submission, which tries to flesh out in a bit more detail how exactly a set of goals could achieve change in a way that is different from some of these other mechanisms that we might have. We have to discipline ourselves not to start thinking that "The Millennium Development Goals were about deciding what was most important. My idea or this particular issue is very important. Therefore, this issue should be in the framework." We require a much more sophisticated analysis of what it takes to make a difference with a goal. For all of us who have particular issues that are close to our hearts, we need to think through in great detail how exactly incorporating our issue is going to deliver change.

Q87 Alison McGovern: I want to slightly change the subject to inequality. I would expect all three of you to be able to give me a comprehensive argument on why inequality matters and why it is a threat to global development, but what I would like is a response to two audiences. If inequality matters for global development, what do we say to socalled "developed countries" that display a persistent level of inequality, and what do we say to developing countries that say that their own domestic inequality is a matter for them and no one else?

Brendan Cox: They are very good questions, I think. We are publishing a report tomorrow, as Save the Children, looking at inequality, which I will send to the Committee following this session. What that looks at is case studies, both across developing countries and developed countries, and looks at the levels of inequality in both. It finds two things: one is that, particularly from Save the Children’s perspective, the gap between the top decile of children and the bottom decile of children is at the highest level since the early 1990s, and is now 35 times. The poorest children in each of those societies have, on average, 35 times less income than the richest 10% of children. That gap is very considerable. Particularly for many of the goals we are talking about, it is going to be a real block to achieving, whether it is every child in school or every child protected from some of the causes of parental death.

In terms of the specifics of how we argue around that, there is a growing acceptance and we heard from some of the previous panel about that, whether those are the arguments that The Economist is talking about, in terms of the impact of inequality on global growth; whether it is about the impact of inequality on human security. There is a growing acceptance, in fact, that inequality is something that is a shared challenge across all societies. It is particularly concentrated in some, but it is a shared and growing challenge, both for developing countries and for developed countries.

Overall, we at Save the Children would argue that, in fact, in this goal framework, we should have inequality within each of the individual goals, but we should also have an overarching goal that looks at inequality, which should cover both developing and developed countries. We know particularly for children that inequality is a key driver of poverty, and it is a key thing that limits their ability to access equality of opportunity. For those reasons, we would engage in that and say that this is a global problem and that we need to take on those people who say that it is either limited to developed countries or not an issue at a global level.

Jamie Drummond: I agree with what Brendan has said. We would all agree that inequality is central. We have to find good measures for it and we look forward to Save’s paper, because measurability of this is difficult in some ways. What is key to the success of the goals so far has been their measurability, therefore how they have been manageable. What we think about a lot at our organisation is what the political strategy is that will get countries to agree that the UN should tell them this. That is something we are thinking about a lot. For example, the United States would need to own this idea, along with a set of emerging economies, which would not normally want be told what their domestic policy should be. There is a policy argument to this. There is a very interesting political strategy argument as well, which we are thinking about a lot.

Dr Pollard: This is a question that really demonstrates how critical it is to be clear on the purpose of the framework. What CAFOD is arguing is that the purpose needs to be to keep the issues that matter most to people living in acute poverty on the international agenda to secure the highest level of political action and accountability around those issues, and incentivise action that drives progress in the real world. We think that people in acute poverty, wherever they live, need to be the target beneficiaries for this framework. We do not think that people who live in poverty or in difficult circumstances in richer countries necessarily are the people who we need to be targeting through this. We would say that it does need to be a global framework, in the sense that all countries need to take action, because the problems around acute poverty are systemic, and that means everybody needs to be part of the solution to delivering change for those people. However, the impact of the framework needs to be measured and assessed, wherever those poor people live, and it needs to be the poorest who we aim to tackle.

In terms of your question of what we say to developed countries that are displaying inequalities and what we say if developing countries are saying this is just a domestic issue that does not matter to them, we say it does matter. What rich countries and what others internationally do does impact on the levels of inequality and poverty in the poorest countries and in middleincome countries where the poorest live. We need to get those developed countries to be taking action to address those structural causes, so that we deliver a longterm difference to them, but what we should not be trying to do is to tackle all the important problems in the world, because there has never been an international intervention of any kind that has managed to do something like that, and it is simply not realistic.

Jamie Drummond: The great thing about pushing all the way to zero is that it forces addressing the rights and also the issues of inequality in the hardesttoreach communities. It is again an oblique way of getting at that.

Q88 Pauline Latham: David Cameron believes that a "golden thread", in terms of governancerelated issues, is fundamental to development. Do you agree with that and what role do you think governance should play in the post2015 framework?

Dr Pollard: David Cameron still has not articulated with great clarity exactly what he means by the "golden thread". It is something that is being interpreted and discussed in different ways.

Q89 Pauline Latham: Maybe I could enlighten you: "absence of war; presence of good governance; property rights; rule of law; effective public services; strong civil institutions; free and fair trade; open markets".

Dr Pollard: That is a list rather than a thread, is it not? That is just stringing lots of important issues together. One of the issues that he has listed there is the private sector, and we do believe that that is an extremely important part of the puzzle, in terms of tackling the key development challenges going forward.

Pauline Latham: Rather than a list, it is more building blocks.

Dr Pollard: Sure, but the key issue is how you frame them collectively and how you see the difference between them. In terms of the private sector one, which would be one we are particularly interested in, you have to bear in mind that 90% of those private sector jobs are found in small and micro businesses, predominantly run by women in the developing world, but the interventions that are typically discussed around the private sector tend to still be coming from a bigbusiness mindset. We would be urging Cameron, when he is developing that "golden thread" idea in more detail, to be really looking from the perspective of small businesses run by poor people and women, rather than assuming that it is simply a question of removing the barriers to largescale industry already and just ensuring growth that way.

Jamie Drummond: The "golden thread" is a useful list of things. There is not a lot new there, but it is a useful list. It could also inform some fantastic leadership if it is further spelled out through the G8 Summit that will be hosted next year, not just this Millennium Goal HighLevel Panel process, but also the Open Government Partnership that the UK is cochairing as well. The fact that the UK is going to 0.7%, just a note about that: when our organisation was founded, along with the Millennium Declaration and Development Goals, over a decade ago, aid to subSaharan Africa was $17 billion a year. It has since increased to about $43 billion. Sorry for using dollars; they are applicable in this context. Domestic resource mobilisation in those same countries has gone from $60 billion to $330 billion. That is where the real money to finance development is today and every year it goes up by another $25 billion domestic resources in these countries.

How the citizens of those countries demand better use of the resources they are giving their governments through taxes and how that relationship is articulated are the most important things in development going forward, in our view, in terms of how development outcomes will be financed. The "golden thread" could be a very helpful way to arm and inform a set of policies and interventions that the international community can offer those citizens in those countries to help make sure their governments are using that money better to deliver the best kinds of results for development. We think, if we harness the potential power of the "golden thread", through that transparency, accountability and open data, for those citizens to really demand the best performance of their governments, it will do something really fantastic and useful. It has yet to be fully harnessed for that outcome.

Q90 Pauline Latham: You have said nothing is new; well, nothing is new. We all know what the issues are and we all know where we would like it to get to. It is about how you move it forward and get there. That is what this is talking about.

Jamie Drummond: Exactly, and if it finds fruition in a set of policies that get at the sorts of things I was just talking about, we think it could be a really fantastic contribution. If it does depends on the kinds of things we put forward at the G8, the kinds of things that are agreed to at the Open Government Partnership, as well as the kinds of things that will be agreed through this process and the kinds of things that will be financed by the 0.7% commitment. Another note on that: when we push for value for money and it focuses on an antiretroviral, a bednet or so on, that is great, but we would like to make sure that some of that money is also going towards things like building up boring stuff, like data systems, accountable public management systems and so on, because that is the real stuff that will help finance development in the future, and that is the smartest way to spend a lot of our aid.

Brendan Cox: Just to add to that, with the ‘golden thread’ there is great opportunity, as we have talked about. It does need to be further defined. They are working on that at the moment, actually, in the context of the upcoming meetings. I have heard it variously defined partly as that list, but also more broadly as a golden thread that enables the reduction of poverty to be sustainable, rather than a response to the symptoms. It is addressing the causes of poverty. I think that is a really important approach.

What we need to avoid is the "golden thread" being set against the broader human development approach, which is being encapsulated in the MDGs and there is no reason it should be. For example, if you look at nutrition, it is one of the biggest constraints to making poverty reduction sustainable. It impacts on the cognition of children; it changes the capacity of that child growing into an adult to earn money to be a productive part of an economy and to make sure that that country can build its way out of poverty. We must not counterpose the "golden thread" with human development. It is about how we make some of the key things sustainable and address the causes of poverty, not just the symptoms. There is a great opportunity there.

The difficulty in the process, talking about the role of the HighLevel Panel and the eventual replacement framework, is that what the MDGs did was to talk about the ends; they did not talk about the means. There was a reason that they did that, which was that they felt they could get agreement around the ends, so the whole series of things that the world did not want in the world, like child mortality and a whole series of other things, but how you get there was, certainly at the time, felt to be the preserve of national governments to make judgments about how they would reach those targets.

The world has moved on, to an extent. There are some elements, for example around transparency, accountability and some of the things that Jamie talked about-I would also broaden that to social protection and universal health coverage-where there is more of a consensus around the means, not just the ends, but I do not think it is clear. We will have to test that consensus and see whether it is feasible to include a mixture of ends goals, which need to be at the core of this, with the additional one or two means goals, which would take this argument forward.

Dr Pollard: I would just add to that. We are quite keen on the idea of having some means goals as well as some ends goals. The particular value of that is around things like governance and the kinds of issues that are spelt out in that "golden thread" list. The risk is, of course, that they become a series of things that are only within the purview of developing country governments to work on and deliver when, actually, if you talk a broader view-not just in terms of the individual freedoms, but in terms of the enabling environment within which these kinds of issues need to be solved-it is rich countries that need to be setting targets for themselves and to be held accountable for whether they are making the changes that allow people to flourish, in this context.

Jamie Drummond: I was just going to add that there may be another way of looking at it. It would be great to see the "golden thread" mixed up with something like agriculture. It is an issue that everyone knows is central to the development of most of these economies; investments in agriculture are the most effective investments for lifting people out of poverty, and yet so little is actually done by DFID and others in the area of agriculture. There has been a historic failure of investment in agriculture over the last couple of decades, which has been addressed over the last couple of years. It would be great to see how investing in agriculture could be spurred by "golden thread" approaches as it mixes up. Sustainable energy or energy poverty might be another one, where there is great opportunity for significant private sector investment, but with the right framework so that the private sector does not misbehave, and some public sector investment that can help the agenda of the private sector. It could transform these economies, lift huge numbers of people out of poverty and change the face of development and development partnership. We look forward to seeing how the "golden thread" could really be applied to something like agriculture. We would love to see that happen in the next year.

Q91 Jeremy Lefroy: I am glad you have mentioned agriculture, because that is something that I think all of us on this panel feel is incredibly important. In your written evidence-I am talking to Mr Drummond here-you talk about job creation as being absolutely essential, which I wholeheartedly agree with, but how do you think that can be incorporated into the framework, or is it something that has to be addressed almost in the context of each or most of the individual goals?

Jamie Drummond: If there was a magic set of policies to create jobs, everyone here would be very interested in that, and in the United States and around the world. We cannot offer that exactly, but it is plain that, as I mentioned, investing in agriculture consistently shows good returns in terms of lifting poor people out of poverty and essentially by providing jobs and better livelihoods. We would see that as one obvious area. I mentioned energy poverty. Take subSaharan Africa; it has a tremendous comparative advantage in renewables, especially in rural, remoter areas, where you would expect advantages there that could be taken care of, if the investments were there.

An important point about investing in infrastructure: I would say that, traditionally, the northern NGO development community worries about and is sometimes against investing in infrastructure. That is something that has to be looked at. Investing in infrastructure, again, is what transforms economies and is also what employs people in the meantime, while those investments are being made. If we can get the governance and "golden thread" bit of that right, there will be a lot more investment in it and a lot more confidence amongst the development NGOs, for example, in those investments. There has been a lack of transparency in investing in things like infrastructure in the past, which has resulted in a lot of corruption and waste. If we can do something like that through things like the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, I think it would be a very good way of spending aid money, bringing in a lot more private sector money, spending better the development finance available within these countries and providing a lot of jobs.

Q92 Jeremy Lefroy: Taking you up on that a little bit, and perhaps colleagues would like to come in, given that if you ask somebody what really concerns them, perhaps apart from the health and education of their family, it is going to be having a job, having a livelihood or having some form of income. Should we not be trying to make that more specific in the Millennium Development Goals, so that people can actually relate to it? Rather than just talking about levels of poverty, actually relate that to work and to jobs.

Jamie Drummond: Yes, and a greater understanding and unpacking of the implications of Goal 1 would be central to that.

Dr Pollard: Absolutely. There is a huge amount of work that is developing and becoming increasingly sophisticated around social protection and how to get at those basic minimumguaranteetype issues in a way that does fit well with goalshaped solutions. The innovations that have happened in terms of data, indicators and target setting, over the last 10 years or so, will put us in a much stronger position to put those issues at the heart of the agenda with clarity and in a way that communicates well.

Brendan Cox: Just to add to that, it should absolutely be central to the framework for the reasons that you say. We need to keep remembering, particularly as people at work in the policy world, that this framework also needs to inspire. On a political level, there needs to be a certain degree of magic around it, if it is going to get traction. Therefore, it needs to resonate with people’s core priorities. Absolutely employment is very high on the list.

In terms of what the impact of having employment on the list can be-so it is not just there because it is important, but it is there because it can change things-one element is who it is who is currently excluded from the labour market. There are significant sections of society and, in some societies, broad swathes of women who are excluded from the labour market. In others, it is minority groups; in others, it is the youth bulge. There are incentive structures that you could change within a goal and the detail of a goal that would help you target those particular groups that are often excluded. To Amy’s point, there are other policies that are key supporting policies to enable both growth and particularly employmentintensive growth, whether they are around education or around social protection, so that people can keep in contact with the labour market, even if they are outside it. Those are ways that you can make sure employment is incentivised in this framework.

Q93 Richard Burden: I am going to ask you two questions, and there is a danger that one question will ask you to contradict your answer to the other one. If it does that, apologies. The first is: whether it be through "golden threads", lists and the rest of it, is there a danger that we are going to end up making this framework so complicated that it is actually not going to be easy to focus it down to specific programmes of action? If there is that danger, how do we deal with that? As time is pressing, you know what the second question is that is coming: are there other areas that we have not really focused on so much, so far, which need to be added to lists within the framework? You have talked about universal health coverage as being one issue that somehow needs to be incorporated. How would you do that? What about specific things that a number of groups have urged, which are that, somewhere in the new framework, disability should feature?

Dr Pollard: The way that we envision this process working is something like a bell curve, so that you have an increasing number of ideas, issues and proposals for candidate goals on the table, rising up to September 2013 and the special event that the UN is planning. After that, the intergovernmental process needs to take on a whittlingdown function, whereby you come down the other side of the bell curve and end up with a very concise and punchy list of goals, targets and indicators, which does not overcomplicate and create this long shopping list that we deeply appreciate is a danger.

There is a very great risk that we end up without a focused framework, because it is so clear that a large number of issues were left out of the MDGs, of which disability is a very important part. That is the reason why now being very clear about the purpose of the framework and the core rationale for it is the most important thing you can do. The UK has a very key role in the HighLevel Panel, with David Cameron’s chairmanship, but we do not know exactly what is going to happen in the intergovernmental process going forward after that, and the UK will be one of many voices that are trying to compete to get heard, as that goes forward.

The opportunity that the UK has, through David Cameron, is to set out the rationale and set the narrative tone, which will create a structure that guides the intergovernmental process going forward and mitigates that risk that you end up with a massive long shopping list of goals. If you can get to a position by the special summit in September, whereby you are clear on the purpose, you are clear about how this framework is going to achieve change and you know why it is more important to have one kind of goal than another kind of goal, then that will put you in a strong position to make a considered judgment about which issues need to be included and which can be dealt with in other forums. In terms of your findings when you come to write up your inquiry, I would say that there is nothing more important at this stage in the debate than being clear about that rationale and purpose, and giving us some kind of strong basis, when the very difficult decisions need to be made about one issue rather than another, so that we can choose between them.

Brendan Cox: On the risk side, there are three risks. The first is that we do not agree anything at all. The current trajectory suggests that is probably the most likely. The second is that we agree everything, so we all come and lobby you on a specific goal, the HighLevel Panel puts it in and the UN General Assembly does the same; so we have a very long shopping list, which is fantastically holistic, with a very great analysis of everything we should do in development, but it has no political purchase as a result. The third is that, in order to get a framework agreed, we keep it relatively focused, but we make everything so abstract and so broad and so vague that it does not mean anything. We say, "The world should be a better place and people should be nice to each other," but it does not have any of the specificity. Those risks are all very real and they are all very pressing. It will take a political Houdini act to get out of that culdesac.

Where we are at the moment, particularly having to negotiate this potentially through three processes-through the HighLevel Panel first, then the Open Working Group, then potentially a broader intergovernmental UN General Assembly process-means that those risks are magnified. At each stage, there is a danger that this will open up and we will end up in a dilemma, where the incentives for each state to make tradeoffs are less than what they think they will lose by making those tradeoffs. Therefore, we will not get that agreement. That is massive. Therefore, hammering home at every single opportunity the need for this framework to retain that focus and to make really difficult tradeoff decisions is absolutely key. We in civil society also have a responsibility to do that. One of the things we are trying to avoid is coming to you and saying, "This is the one goal that we wanted added in and it must absolutely be there," because that potentially leads to some of those problems.

Then in terms of areas we would like added in, I would only suggest them if there were also areas where we were suggesting consolidation. There are opportunities for that. For example, we have three health goals at the moment; you could consolidate those into one health goal. There are opportunities for consolidation as well as expansion. Some of the key things that are missing are certainly inequality, which we have talked about. That could be in a separate goal; it could be inbuilt within each of the indicators in each of the targets, in the same way that disability could be built within each goal, rather than necessarily as a separate goal. There are ways that you can include key issues without expanding the goal framework. The areas that are probably most missing are governance, conflict and broader violence and protection, and universal health coverage. Underlying that is a debate about quality, as opposed to quantity. A lot of these goals were about basic access to things, for example education, and did not get enough on to the quality agenda. I do not think that is a separate goal, but again it needs to be built into the new framework.

Jamie Drummond: There is a way of trying to make our lives relatively easier, which is to go after the blindingly obvious point, which is what people who live in poverty want us to do and think we can most help to do. What are their priorities? There is quite a lot of evidence about what that is and there are also fantastic investments now being made, through "Participate", "My World" and polling, to ask the poor what they want and answer that question. It will probably deliver quite consistent answers around extreme poverty and hunger. There is a sense that, if I can take care of some basic things, access basic services and needs, I know I will need a government that is not too bad to be able to consistently access that and have an opportunity to progress myself, my family and so on.

Going after that collection of issues seems like route one to get right, because it is what we are being asked to help do. It is also completely consistent with building on the current Millennium Goals, which is not unhelpful. Getting to those results through transparent and accountable resources and governance seems like a very sensible way to do it. To do that in the most sustainable fashion again seems very sensible. You can see a package being put together that should be manageable, but there is a great danger that what Brendan said is right: that so many things will be put on top of this that have not been achievable in other processes; why would they be achievable here? There are some winwins, even in some of those difficult areas, for example around energy poverty and access to sustainable energy. There are a few things like that that could be achieved.

Q94 Chair: You mentioned the "My World" survey and you, in your own evidence, have said we need more consultation; we need to ask poor people what they want and deliver it. What is your view of the processes that are in hand, namely the "My World" process? Amy, we did discuss "Participate" and "Beyond 2015". You might want to comment as well.

Jamie Drummond: I have been a bit involved in "My World", so I think it is a good initiative. I would say that what both "Participate" and "My World" would support, but neither individually delivers, is a comprehensive global poll, through Gallup and Afrobarometer, which is quantitative, to which anyone is able to respond, but at least 1,001 in every one of these countries. That is something that could be done. It is currently not being planned, because the finance has not been found to fund it. I would say there are great things with "Participate" and "My World", and they both deserve and should get full support. We are part of that but, in addition, we think there is a possible missed opportunity to just do a poll. Talk to Gallup about it, talk to Afrobarometer about it and have an assurance policy there that we have really done that.

Dr Pollard: I would add to that. We entirely agree that these are complementary efforts, which are equipped to ask slightly different questions using different methodologies, and therefore have a different valueadd each from the other, which collectively could be telling us what we need to know about what matters most to people in poverty and what matters most to those who stand to benefit most from this process. Stepping back and looking at where we are now compared to where we were this time last year, overall, there have been huge strides forward in terms of the UN process as a whole, the consultations, etc. We are hugely pleased to have been able to get "Participate" off the ground and ensure that there will be some kind of major process to engage people in poverty directly in this debate.

One thing that I think would be really helpful for the IDC to do, if it were possible, would be to require the UK Government to read the "Participate" report and products when they come out and also to ask them to respond and think about how those findings impact on the UK Government’s policies. I do not know if that is something you might be able to consider asking of them. What we are concerned about is that, in order to deliver these kinds of research products to quality, it takes time and the debate moves on. Questions need to be answered when they can. We are expecting to deliver this major and unprecedented piece of work in summer next year and we are really concerned that it has space to land. I think you could play a key role in helping it to do so.

Q95 Chair: I take that point. On the specific point of the poll, at what point would that need to be done?

Brendan Cox: The process is not going to finalise until the end of September 2015, so we do have time to get different inputs. The HighLevel Panel obviously has a much tighter framework. I do not think it is likely, unless they make up their mind very quickly, that the poll or a broader voiceofthepoor exercise-similar to what the World Bank did in the year 2000, when it interviewed 60,000 people, which got quite a lot of qualitative data as well as quantitative data-will be done in time for the HighLevel Panel report. The core window therefore is, if possible, preSeptember 2013, when these negotiations start but, if not, shortly after that. That would be the ideal time.

Chair: On that point, we will have the Secretary of State in front of us on this particular inquiry, so those are the sorts of questions we can ask. We are also hoping that the Prime Minister will answer questions when he next appears in front of the Liaison Committee, so we have a couple of opportunities to question the Government on how they are tackling this. Those are obviously helpful suggestions, which we will of course consider. We need to finish now, because we have DFID Questions this morning. Thank you very much, both for your written submissions and also for your oral evidence today. I know you said, Brendan, you were going to send us a paper, but if there are any further thoughts or comments you want to make, please feed them into us. Thank you.

Prepared 21st January 2013