Clause 9 - Definition of key terms
International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Bill
Mark Simmonds (Shadow Minister for International Development, International Development; Boston and Skegness, Conservative)
As the Minister rightly said, the new clause clarifies matters and sets down the definitions of the terms set out under the Bill. I welcome the fact that there is an additional definition of untied aid, which was not originally in the Bill. Will he explain where the reporting structures for progress towards harmonisation should be outlined in the Bill? Is it appropriate to place them in this clause? Harmonisation should be welcomed when it works for the recipients of aid, but the Minister will be aware that worry has been expressed by certain developing countries that harmonisation is slowing down the process of delivering the necessary improvements that we all want. As was said to me not too long ago, there is also a danger that Governments are using it as a reason to “harmonise corruption” rather than to harmonise aid. I think that somewhere in the Bill, whether in clause 9 or elsewhere, reference should be made to the ever growing and important harmonisation issue to ensure that projects are sustainable and successful.
There have been examples of non-governmental organisations and others building a school and the funding running out after three years. After that, there is no funding to continue paying the teachers or to pay for the running of the school, so co-ordination and co-operation between various donors and recipient Governments are necessary. We support harmonisation, but do not understand where in the Bill it is analysed.