HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 cc875-6W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will provide a breakdown of her Department's expenditure since 1998–99 on Statistical Capacity referred to on page 104 of the 2002 departmental report. [67514]

Clare Short

The Department for International Development is committed to improving the capacity of Governments in developing countries to produce, analyse and disseminate statistical information. This is essential to provide Governments with the information needed to prioritise scarce resources, to develop and monitor effective policies, and to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

The majority of DFID' s activities in this area consist of working with partner Governments directly to support their statistical capacity building programmes.

Recognising that there is a limit to what we can do individually, the Department is also increasingly supporting international statistical capacity building initiatives. This is the 'Statistical Capacity' expenditure given on page 104 of the Departmental Report. This includes providing funding to a World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TESCB), supporting the Partnership in Statistics for development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) initiative (a consortium of statisticians, policy makers and civil society working to improve statistical capacity globally) and supporting poverty monitoring as part of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and similar country-owned poverty reduction strategies.

A detailed breakdown is provided in the following table. Please note that this excludes expenditure going directly to countries, which is included within the bilateral country and regional programme expenditure. It also excludes any expenditure on statistics spent through sector programmes such as health or education.

DFID expenditure on international statistical capacity building initiatives
1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02
World Bank TFSCB 227 1,451 1,720
PARIS21 initiative 401 410
PRSP poverty monitoring 400
International comparisons programme 210
World Bank poverty statistician 163 116
Training and research 3 33 241
Total 230 2,049 3,097

As a comparison, the total expenditure going directly to statistical capacity building programmes in 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02 was £0.5 million, £3.6 million and £5.7 million, respectively. In addition to the expenditure in the table, these totals include some country statistical programmes. But these figures still exclude the majority of statistical capacity building assistance which is normally provided as part of broader development programmes and not recorded separately in our systems as statistical capacity building.