Overseas Aid: Standards

International Development written question – answered on 7th October 2008.

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Photo of Claire Curtis-Thomas Claire Curtis-Thomas Labour, Crosby

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1272-3W, on overseas aid: standards, what steps donors and partners are taking to achieve the priorities for improvement referred to in the answer in order to meet 2010 targets.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander The Secretary of State for International Development

At the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Accra, Ghana from 2-4 September 2008, strong UK leadership helped to secure an ambitious 'Accra Agenda for Action' which will speed up implementation of the Paris Declaration.

Donors and developing countries commitments include:

A step change in donors' use of partner government systems to deliver aid, with a new target to channel 50 per cent. of government-to-government aid through country systems, thus improving alignment;

Strengthening of national, and for the first time international, mutual accountability mechanisms, allowing donors and partner countries to better hold each other accountable for meeting their commitments, with a milestone agreed for 2009;

Donors agreed to respect and support partner country-led efforts to agree a better division of labour between donors at country level—and for the first time at international level too; we agreed to start dialogue on international division of labour by June 2009. This will reduce transaction costs for partner countries and help address the issue of under-aided countries;

For the first time and beginning now, donors will provide partner governments with forward expenditure or implementation plans for the following three to five years, allowing partner countries to integrate the information in their medium-term planning and macroeconomic frameworks. This will help developing countries plan to use aid to implement their own priorities, e.g. recruiting nurses and teachers; and

Partner countries will improve their information systems, with support from donors to develop national statistical capacity. The UK announced £50 million support for a new multi-donor Statistics for Results Facility. Donors will use these systems to manage development results.

These steps will help achieve the targets set for 2010.

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