Future of CDC

This inquiry is concluded, Report and Government Response published 

CDC is wholly owned by the Department for International Development (DFID). CDC was created after World War II as the Colonial (later Commonwealth) Development Corporation to invest in developing countries. It does not make direct investments, but instead invests with fund managers with the aim of maximising sustainable business growth and mobilising private finance. 

CDC has faced increasing criticism amidst concerns that it has become disengaged from one of its core objectives: sustainable economic development. 

The government has no involvement in CDC’s day-to-day decision making which is carried out by the CDC Board of executive and non-executive directors based in London. The Secretary of State for International Development proposed reforms to the CDC on 12 October 2010. 

Invitation to submit written evidence

The Committee invites short written submissions from interested organisations and individuals, especially those from developing countries, or those who have had direct dealings with CDC.

The Committee has already received recent evidence relating to CDC in connection with its other inquiries and will now consider that evidence as part this inquiry.

The key focus for the inquiry into CDC will be to assess:

  • the effectiveness of CDC compared with other similar institutions;
  • the reforms proposed by the Secretary of State for International Development on 12 October 2010 and the feasibility of achieving desired results given the CDC’s current resources, including staffing;
  • the extent to which the proposed reforms will be sufficient to refocus CDC’s efforts, especially with respect to poverty reduction;
  • whether alternative options, including the abolition of the CDC, should be adopted; and
  • DFID’s shareholding in Actis, CDC’s largest Fund Manager.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Thursday 18th November 2010.

Written evidence submitted should:

  • If possible, 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
  • 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.



  • Close


    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.