Tony Worthington’s background in International Development


1.              Member of the International Development Select Committee of the UK Parliament 1999-2005


During my time with this influential committee it conducted inquiries into areas such as Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender, Corruption, Climate Change, HIV/Aids, Afghanistan, Sudan and Migration and Development. These investigations have involved me in investigations in Kenya, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Somaliland, Sudan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Macedonia and Albania.  I led the Committee in a visit to Malawi when we were investigating the Humanitarian Situation in Southern Africa.  This led us into conducting an inquiry into policy on Agriculture within DfID which was seen as influential in producing a new policy paper on agriculture from DfID.  As a consequence of this work I now chair the Advisory Group of the Natural Resources Institute.



For my last 5 years in parliament, I was Chair of the All-Party Group on Overseas Development which is administered by the Overseas Development Institute.  This is a forum for both Houses of Parliament and others active in the world of international development.  We attracted major speakers such as Jim Wolfensohn of the World Bank, President Museveni of Uganda, Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia, George Soros, Gareth Evans of the International Crisis Group, Mark Malloch Brown of UNDP, Carol Bellamy of UNICEF, Thoraya Obaid of UNFPA, Pascal Lamy (former EU Trade Commissioner).  We had regular briefings from British Ministers such as Gordon Brown, Clare Short and Hilary Benn.  In conjunction with ODI, we also held a major series of briefings on the Millennium Development Goals in the context of the UN Review.


2.              My work with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy


Since the early 1990s, I have worked extensively with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.  Either on my own or with colleagues from other political parties, I have been asked to go on missions to assist political parties in countries seeking to establish or re-establish democracies.  Typically, the work would involve me in producing a report about the immediate and subsequent action that should be taken by Westminster Foundation and others.  This work has taken me to Kenya, Nigeria (2), Sierra Leone, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


3.              Links with NGOs


Since the early 1990s, I have been asked by NGOs such as Oxfam, Actionaid, Save the Children, Marie Stopes International, Interact Worldwide and Plan UK to become involved in their work, take any necessary parliamentary action and make recommendations.  This has involved me in reports on work in Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Brazil, Peru and Gambia.


I am also an active supporter of Peaceworkers UK in its work to strengthen the recruitment and training for those involved in civilian aspects of crisis management.  In this respect, I was nominated by the Foreign Office to undertake an EU sponsored course in Berlin on the Training of Civilian Personnel for Deployment in International Peace Operations.


4.              Reproductive Health Work


For 18 years, I have been deeply involved with the All-Party Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health.  I am inspired by the need to fulfil the goals of the International Conference on Population in Cairo in 1994.  As a sample of that work, I would draw your attention to the Parliamentary Hearings we held in 2004 on the failure to effectively link the work of those working in reproductive health and those working in HIV/Aids.  We heard evidence from UNAIDS, UNFPA, WHO, the Global Fund, International Planned Parenthood Federation, World Bank, European Union and DfID as well as practitioners from India, South Africa, China, Uganda, Thailand and Swaziland.  We also heard from the International Community of Women Living with Aids.


I am the principal author of the subsequent report, “The Missing Link”, which I am told, has been influential. The report “The Missing Link” can be seen at


Certainly, DfID’s policy is now much more integrative.  Because of my work in this field, I was invited to contribute to two global policy-making initiatives on this subject, involving UNAIDS, UNFPA, WHO, World Bank, DfID and many other high level organisations.  These policy statements were: a) The New York Call to Commitment and b) The Glion Call to Action on Family Planning & HIV/Aids in Women and Children.



5.              Work with International Organisations such as the World Bank, IMF, UNFPA, IPPF and UNDP


I am on the Board of Parliamentary Network on the World Bank which is seeking to improve the links between the IFIs and parliamentarians – (see  We are particularly working to bring together parliamentarians from developed and developing countries to work in partnership on issues such as poverty reduction strategies.


Apart from the Annual Meeting, which attracts many distinguished speakers and at which the President of the World Bank has always spoken, we organise regional chapters of parliamentarians who join together to tackle poverty reduction issues in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.  We have groups on Trade and HIV/Aids.


On behalf of the Board, I have currently submitted to DfID, a project proposal, led by myself, which would establish two new Chapters in West Africa and East Africa.


This proposal arose from the work that I did in leading a group of fellow parliamentarians to put in evidence to the Commission for Africa calling for the end of the neglect of the role of parliamentarians I promoting development.  This evidence can be seen at:


The Commission for Africa picks up this point and my proposal on behalf of the Parliamentary Network seeks to implement its recommendations.


On leaving Parliament, I left the Board of the Executive Council of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) which is a New York based organisation of over 1300 parliamentarians from all over the world who work together to tackle issues of common interest (  I was Convener of the Sustainable Development and Population programme.  Most recently, I was responsible for developing a programme whereby parliamentarians in countries which have undergone the catastrophe of a severe HIV/Aids epidemic can alert those countries which are threatened by such a fate to take the policy steps that are necessary to avoid such a fate.


We recently held a highly successful initial conference in Pakistan with representatives from the parliaments of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives.  Further work will now take place in the South Asia region and the initial steps are being taken to extend the work to Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.


6.              Other experience


a)             Educational background

I hold a BA Hons in Sociology and Social Policy from the London School of Economics.  I hold an M.Ed. from the University of Glasgow; a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of York and an Advanced Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Durham.

b)             Teaching and Lecturing Experience

For four years, I was responsible for Sociology teaching at Monkwearmouth College of Further Education in Sunderland and for 15 years, I lectured at Jordanhill College, Glasgow (now University of Strathclyde), responsible for Social Policy and Sociology, teaching to Social Work, Community Work and Teaching students.


c)             Local Government Experience

From 1974-1987, I was the Regional Councillor for Clydebank Kilpatrick North on Strathclyde Regional Council.  I became Chair of Community Development, having written the key Community Development policy document in Scotland.  This involved extensive experience of pioneering work in counteracting urban deprivation.  I then became Chair of Finance for what was then the United Kingdom’s largest local authority.

I was, until recently, Chair of the Board of Clydebank Rebuilt Ltd.  This is one of the first three Urban Regeneration Companies in Scotland.  It brings together the local authority, the regional enterprise company, and representatives of the local community to act with central government, European and other funding to what was once a major shipbuilding and heavy engineering town.

d)             Parliamentary Experience

From 1987 – 2005 I was MP for Clydebank and Milngavie in Scotland.  In that time, I had experience as a spokesman for my part in Scottish Education and Employment, Overseas Development and Foreign Affairs.  Between 1995-98, I was firstly an opposition spokesman on Northern Ireland and then a Minister in the Northern Ireland Office.  I wrote policy papers on Education and Policing.  I was part of the team that brought about the Belfast agreement and peace in Northern Ireland.  I was Minister for Education and Health – key issues in a deeply divided society.  I was responsible for developing the equality agenda which became an integral part of the success of the Belfast agreement.


To be updated