NEW INQUIRY: AID UNDER PRESSURE: SUPPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE IN A GLOBAL ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
The current financial situation is creating a dangerous time for development. Initial predictions that the developing world would be insulated from the worst of the financial turbulence have not proved correct. Decreasing remittances, currency devaluation, reduced foreign investment, and falling demand for goods and services are all expected to adversely affect developing economies and emerging markets.
The current financial crisis is also testing the depth of international donor support for development. The UK Government has said that it will continue to meet the commitments it has made on aid levels. But the position is less clear for some other EU donors. Reductions in the level of official development assistance would clearly compound the problems which developing countries are already facing as well as putting at risk the global targets set for development expenditure and the likelihood of reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Public support is essential to an effective development policy and this could also be threatened if the financial crisis continues to affect the real economy. As part of this inquiry the Committee will assess whether there have been changes in public support for aid expenditure as a result of the economic downturn, and in particular whether the public’s views on the UK Government’s development work have changed.
The International Development Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence on the following issues:
- The impact of the financial crisis on international support for development, including levels of official development assistance, foreign investment, trade policy and innovative sources of finance
- The effectiveness of the Department for International Development’s advocacy strategies in encouraging other donors to fulfil their international aid commitments
- The impact of the economic downturn on public support for development expenditure
- The effectiveness of DFID’s strategy for strengthening public support for its work.
An eConsultation will also be conducted during the course of the inquiry. Further details will be announced in due course.
The inquiry will commence with an evidence session with the Secretary of State for International Development at 2.30 pm on Wednesday 21 January on the outcomes of the Financing for Development Conference, which was held in Doha at the beginning of December 2008.
Submission of written evidence
The deadline for submitting written evidence is Friday 20 February 2009.
Evidence submitted should:
- if possible, be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text format by e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org . If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail. The letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact details
- begin with a one page summary if it is longer than six pages
- have numbered paragraphs
- avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material.
Submissions can also be sent by post to International Development Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.
A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:
Please also note that:
- Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within written evidence, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. If a number of published documents are sent to accompany written evidence, these should be listed in the covering email.
- Written evidence submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organization submitting it is specifically authorised.
- Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
- It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
- Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.
Committee membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Stephen Crabb MP (Con), Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Jim Sheridan MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab), Sir Robert Smith MP (Lib Dem).
Committee Contact: Ben Williams, 020 7219 0851, or
Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, or
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Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474)