Coronavirus (COVID-19): review of international development programme

On 1 September 2020, the Programme for Government set out our intention to review our approach to international development - to ensure that we are focusing our work on areas where we can make the biggest contribution and difference in our partner countries against the backdrop of the new reality of COVID-19.

The review was led by the Minister for Europe and International Development and also responded to issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement. 

See:

Implementing our review for 2023+

Through our review, new principles of the International Development Review (March 2021) were co-designed with representatives of government and civil society in our partner countries – and with civil society in Scotland - as part of the review process. They will shape our programme and the approach we take to international development across our partner countries:

  • Malawi
  • Zambia
  • Rwanda
  • (our education offer to) Pakistan

Those Principles are key to ensure that we support our partner countries build back fairer and stronger from COVID, respond to the climate emergency, and support a shifting of power to the Global South.

Four key cross-cutting changes are being implemented as a result of our review:

Build back fairer and stronger

We will restructure our current funding streams to focus on:

  • sustainable economic recovery
  • institutional resilience (focused on strengthening public institutions)
  • equalities programme (our commitment to a new £500,000 Women and Girls Empowerment Fund is part of that new equalities programme)

Global South Programme Panel

We will establish a panel of ‘experts by experience’ who principally work and reside in the global south along with representatives of our partner countries’ diaspora. Led at a Ministerial Level this will help us ensure that global south voices continue to be heard.

Updating our funding criteria

We will adjust our funding criteria to enable more partner-country based organisations to apply direct for funding.

Focusing our offer

We will adopt a focused thematic approach to our Programme, following discussion with our partner country governments. This will ensure that we best meet their requirements.

During 2022, we are working on and designing new programming to take effect from 2023, which will be in line with the outcomes of our 2021 Review.

Our new programming will therefore include funding:

  • under a new Equalities programme
  • to support sustainable recovery from COVID
  • to support institutional resilience
  • to continue to support global solidarity/global citizenship

On shifting power: our new £500,000 Women and Girls’ Empowerment fund will provide new opportunities for local CSOs in our partner countries to access funding directly.

The redesign of our Programme for 2023+ is the start of a change process. We will continue to align and adjust our Programme incrementally over the years that follow, in line with best development practice.

Even as we are programming for 2023+, we continue to support a number of development programmes to their planned conclusion, for example: -

    • our cohort of competitively awarded Malawi projects are still running from 2018 to March 2023
    • we have agreed a one-year extension for the majority of our cohort of competitively awarded Zambia and Rwanda projects (2017 to 2022), to now take them also to a new finish date of March 2023

2020 to 2021 review of our approach to international development in light of COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic we carried out a review of our approach to international development.

During 2022, we are working on and designing new programming to take effect from 2023, which will be in line with the outcomes of our 2021 review. Our new programming will therefore include funding:

  • under a new equalities programme
  • to support sustainable recovery from COVID;
  • to support institutional resilience
  • ongoing funding to support global solidarity/global citizenship

Focus group events -  July 2022

We are running a series of focus groups to gather views on the design of future funding to support global solidarity (dates and Eventbrite links below).

The following dates are open to book – all online via MS Teams – with each focus group being run by a couple of members of our international development team:

The questions to be addressed are available to see in advance on the eventbrite pages.

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