The Scottish Government’s international development work began in 2005 with a £3 million budget for Malawi, reflecting 150 years of collaboration for development between our two countries. Whilst our programme continues to major on Scotland’s partnership with Malawi, it now also covers six other priority countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with a budget of £9m per annum. We use these funds to support the people to people links that Scotland has with the developing world, and to support Scottish organisations to undertake projects alongside partners in our priority countries. In November 2015, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Governments of Scotland and Malawi, and the beginning the Scottish Government’s international development work.
2015 was also a seminal year for international development in the wider global context. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals came to an end, and were replaced from 1 January 2016 by the new Sustainable Development Goals, or ‘Global Goals’. These represent the high level priorities in tackling poverty and inequality that UN member states will follow from now until 2030. In July 2015, the First Minister announced that the Scottish Government would adopt the SDGs, making Scotland one of the first nations on Earth to sign up to the Goals.
These key milestones - such as the advent of the new Global Goals and the 10th anniversary of our international development programme - make this an apt moment to consider how best to refine our international development programme. To do so, we have launched a public consultation exercise that will invite responses from International Development stakeholders as well as wider civil society in Scotland, the UK, and overseas. We will ask respondents to consider various aspects of our programme, such as the countries that we work in, the themes which underpin our projects and the nature of our funding model.
We are aiming to arrive at a refreshed Scottish Government international development policy that seeks to deliver on our commitment to the Global Goals, and is in line with good development practice. We want to target and focus our International Development Fund and our other related work where we can make a real difference and make the most impact in relation to our budget. This may mean looking at: reducing the number of countries that we work in; aiming to be more focused thematically and looking at a number of more practical issues around how we fund international development initiatives in future.
To help us formulate our new refreshed policy, and ensure that we continue the engagement with civil society that has been the basis of our ‘people-to-people approach’ to development with our partner countries, we are keen to hear views from as many people and as many different sectors as possible in Scotland, the UK, and further afield. In order to do so, we will be hosting a series of public consultation events to promote our International Development work and explain how the public can engage with the consultation process.
The consultation should be completed online at the link below. Before completing the consultation, we would strongly encourage respondents to read the Summary Document that explains the background to our consultation and provides more information on the questions you will be responding to.
Meeting Global Challenges & Making a Difference - Aligning Our International Development Policy with the Global Goals: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/international-development-team/meeting-global-challenges