International Development Committee Announcement


Bangladesh has made significant strides in poverty reduction in recent years especially in rural areas, helped by sustained economic growth rates. At a comparatively low level of economic development it has reduced population growth rates, halved child mortality and increased life expectancy to 64 years. Micro-finance and community-led initiatives have been very successful in a range of sectors including sanitation and water. However despite these achievements Bangladesh remains one of the poorest countries in the world with nearly 60 million people living below the poverty line and income inequality is growing. Urbanisation is increasing rapidly; some 80 million people are expected to be living in urban areas by 2030.

Social and economic progress has been achieved despite weak governance. Government capability is weak, there is little trust in state institutions, corruption levels are high and vested interests thwart change. Bangladesh faces a major development challenge from climate change which threatens to increase poverty, vulnerability and civil unrest. Despite advances in girls’ education, gender inequalities persist. Further progress on poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is hindered by these factors.

DFID plans to allocate £125 million in bilateral assistance to Bangladesh in 2009-10 making it the fourth highest recipient of bilateral aid from the UK. DFID’s programme in Bangladesh focuses on improving governance, reducing poverty and vulnerability to disasters and climate change, and private sector development.

The International Development Committee is to begin an inquiry into DFID’s programme in Bangladesh. Key issues for the inquiry will include:

  • The appropriate size and scope of DFID’s programme in Bangladesh;
  • DFID’s support for more effective governance and institution building in Bangladesh;
  • DFID’s strategy for reducing poverty and inequality, including gender inequality;
  • The management of climate change impacts and support for disaster risk reduction;
  • The role of community-led initiatives in reducing poverty and increasing access to basic services.

Submission of written evidence

The Committee invites individuals and organisations with relevant expertise and experience to submit written evidence on any of these issues.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Friday 18 September 2009

The Committee particularly welcomes submissions from individuals and organisations in developing countries.

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.


Committee Membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Stephen Crabb MP (Con), Mr Mark Hendrick MP (Lab/Co-op), Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con), Mr Virendra Sharma (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab), Andrew Stunell MP (Lib Dem).

Committee Contact: Dr Anna Dickson, 020 7219 2738 or

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, or

Committee website:

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:

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)