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International Development
Scottish Government
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International Development

The Scottish Government's new International Development Strategy (2016) articulates the vision of Scotland's place in the world as a good global citizen, committed to play its role in achieving the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals in our partner countries of Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Pakistan. With a focus on working in partnership and achieving real and tangible outcomes on the ground, the Policy seeks to build upon both the historical and contemporary relationships that exist between Scotland and the developing world.

The Scottish Government's £9 million International Development Fund is focussed on four countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Pakistan. We have a partnership agreement with the Government of Malawi that aims to build upon over a century and a half of cooperation for development. We also support projects in Rwanda and Zambia, and provide funding for scholarships in Pakistan. The Small Grants Funding Round has been set up to provide funding to smaller NGOs for projects around the world.

In addition, over the last few years we have provided emergency humanitarian funding in response to the crises in Syria, the Philippines, Gaza, West Africa, and Yemen.

The Scottish Government is also funding projects in Sub Saharan Africa through the Climate Justice Fund.


Latest news:

9th March

Scottish Government Zambia and Rwanda Development Programmes -  Funding Round 2017 Now Open

The Scottish Government has today launched the  Zambia and Rwanda Development Programmes Funding Round 2017.  This funding round, which is being administered by Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, is now open to Scottish based organisations interested in applying for international development grants to deliver projects in Central Province, Zambia and Western and Southern Provinces, Rwanda. Further information on how to apply can be found on Lloyds TSB Foundation’s website.

An information day for the funding round will be held on Thursday 23 March at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church. Sessions will focus on both the new International Development Strategy and the funding round. Those interested in attending should book their place here.


8th February 2017

Scottish Government Zambia and Rwanda Development Programmes Funding Round 2017

The Scottish Government has confirmed that we will launch a funding round for projects in Zambia and Rwanda starting in October 2017 on Thursday, 9 March. 

As noted in our new International Development Strategy published in December 2016, to maximise impact there will be a focus on specific regions in Zambia.  Following discussions with the Government of Zambia, for this funding round we will only invite applications for projects within Central Province, Zambia.  Similarly to maximise impact and following discussions with the Government of Rwanda for this funding round we will only invite applications for projects within the two poorest provinces of Rwanda, which are Western and Southern Provinces. 

An information day, which will include sessions on the funding round and the new International Development Strategy will take place in Edinburgh on Thursday 23 March. Further details on the information day; timescales for the funding round; eligibility criteria etc. will be given at the launch date.


11 January 2017 - Minister for International Development and Europe, Dr Alisidair Allan, has announced £1m funding over five years for the Blantyre-Blantyre Clinical Research Project. The project, working alongside the University of Glasgow, Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust, and Malawi's College of Medicine, will facilitate research into prevelant diseases in Malawi such as cardiac disease, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions. The results of this research will then be fed back into research on The Glasgow Effect and the prevelance of similar diseases in West Central Scotland.

More information on the project can be found here.


21 December - The Scottish Government has today published its new International Development Strategy, entitled ‘Global Citizen: Scotland’s International Development Strategy’. Following an extensive consultation process that sought views from NGOs, civil society, academics, and individuals from across Scotland, the Strategy lays out how the Scottish Government will build on the best aspects of our work to date in our partner countries of Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Pakistan. This replaces our 2008 International Development Policy.

Our news release on the publication can be found here.


29th September - The future geographic focus of the Scottish Government’s refreshed International Development policy was announced by the Minister for International Development & Europe on 29 September at the Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland’s (NIDOS) AGM. This follows a public consultation between February and May 2016.   

The Scottish Government’s new international development programme consists of 4 partner countries. Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda form our sub-Saharan African cluster and for South Asia we will continue to partner with Pakistan with an emphasis on education through scholarships.

Full News Release can be found here  http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scotland-s-place-as-global-citizen-2be5.aspx

Consultation analysis report can be found here. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/09/9473


2nd September - The Scottish Government has today announced the opening of the 2017 Small Grants Programme. The programme, administered by Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, is designed to accommodate smaller funding requests. Applications for the 2017 Programme are now open with a closing date of 28th November 2016.

More information about the Programme can be found here.

9th March - Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf, has today announced the grants that have been awarded under the 2016-19 Small Grants Programme. A full list of the grants that have been awarded can be found at our 'Small Grants Programme' tab to the left of this page.

24th February, 2016 - The Scottish Government has today launched its public consultation on our International Development Policy, entitled 'Meeting Global Challenges & Making a Difference - Aligning Our International Development Policy with the Global Goals'. By participating in this consultation, we are inviting individuals and organisations from Scotland, the UK, and abroad to consider how best our policy can be aligned with the new Sustainable Development Goals whilst also giving our programme more focus to achieve greater impact on the ground.

For more information on our Consultation including a link to the Consultation itself, click here.

24th December - The International Development Team has released the latest edition of its biannual newsletter, looking back on 6 months of overseas visits, Ministerial announcements, and the 10th Anniversary of our international development programme. The full newsletter can be found here.

23 July - Humza Yousaf, Minister for Europe and International Development, has this morning announced the launch of a series of reports from the Scottish Government’s flagship Malawi Renewable Energy Acceleration Programme (MREAP), delivered from 2012-2015.   These reveal that this world-leading initiative led by the University of Strathclyde has brought new energy access to nearly 80,000 people in rural areas of Malawi.  The Scottish Government is keen to share the findings from this world-leading programme to inform the future of energy for development.  Please click here for more information.

The Minister's announcement was made at the Scottish Government's 'Sustainability Event' held at COSLA Conference Centre on 23rd July - the first in a series of events marking 10 years of the SG's International Development Fund. The slides from the event are now available here.

13 July - The Minister for Europe and International Development has announced the extension of the Scottish Government's Small Grants Programme to a third year. Applications for the Programme are now open, with up to £500,000 being made available to Scottish NGOs for capacity building, feasibility studies, and development projects. Full details of the application process and criteria can be found here.

15 June - The International Development Team has released its biannual newsletter, reflecting on a busy 6 months of fundings rounds, humanitarian work, and officials' visits to our priority countries. The full newsletter is available here.

28 April - The Minister for Europe & International Development has announced £250,000 Scottish Government funding to assist people who have been affected by the earthquake in Nepal.