Infrastructure and Development

The International Development Committee has finished its inquiry into this topic and has produced its report into Infrastructure and Development. The Government Response was published on 19 December 2011 

Infrastructure—particularly ‘economic infrastructure’ supporting power, transport, water and communications—is central to efforts to poverty reduction. It boosts economic growth and supports sustainable development. Access to basic infrastructure services remains a challenge: 1.4 billion people do not have access to electricity, and in Africa only one-third of the population has access to an all-weather road.

A large funding gap for infrastructure exists, with Africa alone requiring $93 billion a year to meet its infrastructure needs. However, the continent saw a tenfold increase in funding between 2002 and 2007. Non-traditional donors including China and India provide a growing share of such funding. A significant share of UK aid is spent on infrastructure. This is channelled both though DFID bilateral programmes and allocations to multilateral development banks.

Population growth of up to 2 billion people worldwide by 2050 will further stretch infrastructure capacity, for example placing water and food storage and distribution networks under strain. Urban populations are likely to increase most, intensifying the already urgent challenge of improving infrastructure in slums and megacities. Climate compatible solutions are likely to be key to addressing these challenges. Key issues for the inquiry include:

Key priorities in strengthening infrastructure in developing countries, including:

 • Policy frameworks for infrastructure development and regional integration, especially ‘economic’, cross-border, transport (including low-carbon options and road safety) and ‘corridor’ infrastructure; and  

• Pro-poor infrastructure, including: urban services; infrastructure that supports employment, agriculture, food and water; disaster-resilient infrastructure.

Mechanisms, including:

• Financing for infrastructure, including the role of: development banks; other multilaterals; development finance institutions; climate finance; user fees; subsidies; and bilateral aid;

• The role of the private sector, including public private partnerships; and

• Community participation; and opportunities for low-carbon technologies to benefit poor people.

DFID’s role, including:

 • Providing the right approaches in different countries and contexts;

• Ensuring increased transparency and reducing corruption; and 

• Staff and expertise.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Monday 28 February

Written evidence submitted should:

• Be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text format by e-mail to 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; and

• 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 is available.


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.



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