Latin America

International Development written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the comparative performance of his Department's Andean Unit and its offices elsewhere in the world.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Party Chair, Co-operative Party

DFID's Andean Unit was recently evaluated as part of a broader independent evaluation, undertaken by the Overseas Development Institute, of DFID's Regional Assistance Programme for Latin America. The evaluation found that DFID Andes had adapted well to the new demands of a regional rather than a national bilateral programme, and had been successful in forging strong partnerships and implementing high quality programmes.

The evaluation stated that DFID Andes was perceived by its partners to be playing its role as catalyst of change effectively. It went on to note that DFID Andes, and its counterpart offices in other parts of Latin America, are having a positive impact on its main partners, the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. Both institutions have cited that DFID Andes' influence has enabled them to improve their consultation processes on strategies and programmes, and to better disseminate their analysis to broader society.

The evaluation concluded that DFID staff in the Latin America offices are "universally considered to be excellent", and their technical contributions are highly valued by partners.

It is hard to compare performance with DFID offices elsewhere, because the Latin American offices have a different task—to work with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, rather than to administer a DFID country programme. DFID's Evaluation Department routinely undertakes evaluations of DFID offices and programmes around the world. Recent evaluations include DFID programmes in Bangladesh and the Caribbean. These evaluation reports are all publicly available on DFID's website, as is the Latin America Programme independent evaluation.

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