The International Development Committee published an Area of Research Interest on changes to the UK aid budget in April 2021.The information provided by academics and other experts on existing and forthcoming research, and suggested scrutiny questions, helped to inform the Committee’s work and subsequent inquiries.

The International Development Committee is launching an updated Area of Research Interest for 2023.

The ARI includes several specific areas of interest. These include evaluating the impact of UK aid spending, as well as the UK spending through development finance institutions, the availability and quality of data on the UK Government’s contribution to international development and the impact of in-country refugee costs on wider UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) effectiveness.

Academics at all career stages, research institutions, and experts are encouraged to share their research and insights, highlight any evidence gaps and how these could be addressed, and suggest scrutiny themes and questions the Committee should be asking the Government.​

Those who respond to the ARI survey will be entered onto a database of experts who may be contacted by parliamentary staff in order to help them scrutinise the Government in this area of interest. There is no need to contact Committee staff directly, as they have access to all information you enter on the database.​ You can register your expertise and research insights on the impact of the UK’s International Development funding by clicking the button below.

Registration for this ARI has now closed

International Development Committee, Commons Select Committee

The International Development Committee is responsible for scrutiny of all UK aid and Official Development Assistance (ODA) expenditure, including aid spending by both the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and other UK Government departments.

Find out more about this committee

What are Areas of Research Interest?​

Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) are lists of policy issues or questions. They are a way for an organisation to express interest in seeing more research evidence in certain topics.​

How can researchers share their insights on the ARIs?​

If you have evidence or insights on the ARIs (including evidence reviews), you can add information about the research and your contact details to the repository of research relevant to the ARIs. If this area becomes a topic of scrutiny within Parliament, parliamentary staff may search the repository for relevant research and contacts.​

How does Parliament use ARIs?​

An inquiry into the effectiveness and influence of the Select Committee system by the 2017–19 House of Commons Liaison Committee made several recommendations on how to improve the use of research evidence in select committees. One recommendation was for committees to develop and publish Areas of Research Interest (ARIs). The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), is developing select committee ARIs to support parliamentary scrutiny. ​

ARIs are not an exhaustive list of all areas in which Parliament may be interested in research evidence in the future. Parliamentary priorities are driven by elected representatives responding to current affairs. In particular, select committees issue calls for evidence based on their current priorities; ARIs do not replace these calls for evidence. However, ARIs may be used by parliamentarians and by parliamentary staff in POST, the Libraries and select committee teams to scope and/or inform future work.​

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

POST produces impartial, non-partisan, and peer-reviewed briefings, designed to make scientific research accessible to the UK Parliament. Beyond that, POST organises parliamentary horizon scanning activities and facilitates knowledge exchange between UK Parliament and research communities.

Image: UK aid shelter kits being unloaded by UK Department for International Development under CC BY-ND 2.0

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