Global leadership

Scotland supporting world's poor.

Scotland is providing ‘ethical leadership’ in its global aims to help support some of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people.

A new report published by the Scottish Government details how collaboration across government portfolios on the approach to international development is delivering success beyond aid spend, including:

  • The Climate Change Bill raises the ambition of our target and Climate Justice Fund helps tackle the effects of climate change in the poorest countries.
  • Global Citizenship Education is embedded within our formal education system.
  • Our new NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme – a joint venture between international development and health portfolios.
  • Policy collaboration between Scottish Government and the Government of Malawi on water resource management.

The report, titled ‘Contribution to International Development’, sets out for the first time the full range of the Scottish Government’s international development activity, and how they support the UN Global Goals in partner countries.

International Development Minister Ben Macpherson said:

“We believe Scotland can and should provide ethical leadership on global issues such as alleviating poverty and inequality, protecting human rights and tackling climate change.

“This inaugural report highlights the significant contribution from right across the Scottish Government to international development outcomes, and demonstrates our continued commitment to transparency and openness.

“With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit it is particularly important that, across government, we continue to provide a strong, positive, progressive voice in the world, for compassion, tolerance, diversity and social justice.

“This report also highlights the partnership approach we are taking to our international development work, laying the foundations for ever closer working with civil society in Scotland and others in Scotland’s international development sector. This reflects our aim for a holistic approach to international development, both within and outwith the Scottish Government, including a stepwise approach to “do no harm” and working for positive international development outcomes.

Jane Salmonson, Alliance CEO, said:

“The Alliance warmly welcomes the Scottish Government’s new Contribution to International Development Report, and is encouraged to see reference to a broad range of government activities that impact on development outcomes. This is crucial to developing the concept of policy coherence across different parts of government. We also welcome the importance the report attaches to working in partnership with civil society.

“This new reporting mechanism will evolve over time. This first issue is to be commended for reaffirming the Scottish Government’s strong commitment to the Global Goals and setting us on a path towards greater policy coherence across government.”


Examples of some of the key contributions in 2017-8 towards the achievement of the UN global goals in partner countries:

  • No poverty: 2,860 Malawian farmers, 1867 women and 933 men, have increased wages by 227%.
  • Climate action: £600,000 invested in a range of innovative projects designed to help communities in Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia develop adaptive solutions to the challenges brought on by climate change.
  • Zero hunger: 8,203 people in Malawi’s Dowa District are benefitting from a 484% increase in maize production and a 516% increase in groundnut production.
  • Reduced inequalities: 1,484 young unemployed Malawians, 787 women and 694 men, now take an active role in their communities through advocacy and voluntary activities

Case study:

  • Myanmar and Bangladesh Rohingya Crisis
  • Christian Aid £60,000 Christian Aid’s response supported 1,480 Rohingya families (8,880 people) in Jamtoli Camp, Palonkhali Union, in the Ukhia Upazila of Cox’s Bazar District with emergency shelter kits and water, sanitation and health (WASH) facilities. They also supported 5,495 people with immediate life-saving health care, treating a range of conditions, including violence-related injuries.
  • Oxfam £60,000 The project period saw Oxfam lead a massive upscale in water and sanitation service provision to the population. Oxfam’s response reached more than 30,000 people living in makeshift camps, host communities and spontaneous settlements in Ukhyia and Teknaf Upazilas, Cox’s Bazar District. Oxfam installed 60 water-pumps and 198 latrines serving almost 10,000 people and contributed HEF funds towards the cost of constructing a large-scale water-treatment plant to serve more than 20,000 people.

The Contribution to International Development Report, fulfils a Programme for Government commitment.


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