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Overseas Projects

International Development written question – answered on 1st May 2002.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the value for money achieved by the Rural Access Programme in Nepal.

Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development

The Rural Access Programme in Nepal is an ambitious programme of rural transport infrastructure and related activities aimed at eliminating rural poverty. It is being implemented over a six year period that has only just started. It is therefore too early to judge the value for money achievements of the whole programme at this time.

An inception review of the programme was completed in April. This review took into account the current conflict situation in Nepal and the impact on programme implementation; how more immediate impact can be achieved for communities affected by conflict; and the approach to the provision of technical assistance.

The outcome of this review is that there will be improved modalities for working in conflict affected areas and on conflict issues. This will include working with organisation with an established local presence and by strengthening and empowering existing groups and adopting working methods that bridge the divides giving rise to the current conflict. Also, there will be a reduction in the numbers of international consultants without compromising quality and supervision, through a more rapid localisation of key positions in the technical assistance team.

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