§ Mr. Streeter
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will set out her Department's strategy on strengthening civil society following the consultation process earlier this year. 
§ Clare Short
A report on the civil society consultation process was published in February this year.
This led on to the announcement of the launch of The Civil Society Challenge Fund and partnership Programme Agreements. I refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 26 July 1999, Official Report, columns 12–13W, which set out the objectives of these mechanisms.
The Guidelines on the Civil Society Challenge Fund were published in September. In my forward I set out the reasons why a strong civil society is a crucial element in the fight against poverty and the importance we attach to strengthening civil society, in both poor and transition countries.