Committee announce new inquiry into science and international development

Medical aid in Africa
11 November 2011

The Science and Technology Committee launches a new inquiry examining science and international development.

In the Science and Technology Committee’s 2004 report on ‘The Use of Science in UK international development policy’, the Department for International Development’s (DfID) capacity building activities were identified as an area of weakness, with too much focus on short-term solutions and the lack of a holistic approach to capacity building.

The Science and Technology Committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry to look at DfID’s current activities to build scientific capacity in developing countries.

Terms of Reference

The Committee seeks written submissions on the following matters:

1. How does the UK Government support scientific capacity building in developing countries and how should it improve?

2. What are the most effective models and mechanisms for supporting research capacity in developing countries?

3. How does the Government monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the scientific capacity building activities it supports? Is further assessment or oversight required?

4. What role does DfID’s Chief Scientific Adviser play in determining priorities and in the development and assessment of capacity building policies?

5. How are government activities co-ordinated with the private and voluntary sectors?

Submitting written evidence

The Committee invites written submissions on these issues by midday on Friday 16 December 2011.

Each submission should:
a) be no more than 3,000 words in length;
b) be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible;
c) have numbered paragraphs; and
d) include a declaration of interests.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked "International development". An additional paper copy should be sent in due course (not by the deadline) to:

The Clerk
Science and Technology Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation 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 Archives. 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.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

More information on submitting evidence to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:

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