Headlines: September 9th, 1998

Members of the public are being invited to help shape policy on Britain’s support to developing countries. A series of regional development policy forums, set up by the Department for International Development (DFID), aims to improve links between the public and government on aid issues. International Development Secretary Clare Short said such forums were designed strengthen Britain’s commitment to international development.She said: “These forums will give people from all parts of society including academia, churches, voluntary sector and the private sector, the chance to scrutinise the work of DFID and to share ideas for development with us, using their wealth of knowledge and experience.”

DFID officials joined such groups at the first forum, which discussed a range of issues, including improving the effectiveness of aid, and particularly Britain’s role in handling humanitarian aid and conflicts.The first forum was in Norwich. The next is in Birmingham today, (Wednesday) and others will be held in Bristol,York, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, London, and Manchester

These will culminate in a National Forum – to be held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham on Monday 9 November.

All papers from each forum will be available on the Internet at