Development assistance programmes
Development assistance is the first and largest funding stream of our International Development Fund (IDF), and funds our Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia and Pakistan Development Programmes, as well as our Small Grants Programme.
We allocate funding to projects being run by a range of Scotland-based organisations, including registered charities, universities, local authorities, NHS Boards, private sector companies (acting on a not-for-profit basis) and social enterprises, with an emphasis on respectful partnership with organisations in our partner countries.
The majority of our development assistance spend is allocated through open and transparent funding rounds. We also fund Scottish networking organisations annually under the development assistance funding stream on a non-competitive basis, and occasionally provide match funding for projects in our sub-Saharan partner countries as funds allow. In his letter to the Scottish Parliament’s CEEAC Committee on 6 June 2022 the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture had provided information on international development funding streams over the recent period. On 9 June 2022, Minister for Culture Europe and International Development, Neil Gray MSP wrote a supplementary letter to the Committee, to address the specific questions asked about these funding streams as regard the recent split between competitive and non-competitively awarded funding, and rationale for that.
See below for projects currently being funded through our IDF's development assistance funding stream, or read about past projects in the archive.
- Malawi Development Programme
- Rwanda Development Programme
- Zambia Development Programme
- Pakistan Development Programme
- Small Grants Programme
Malawi is one of the world's poorest countries and our collaboration with the country dates back to the work of Dr David Livingstone more than 150 years ago. The First Minister signed a Co-operation Agreement with the President of Malawi in 2005, on behalf of each government, agreeing to collaborate on projects to make improvements in four key strands: civic governance; education; health; and sustainable economic development.
On 23 April 2018, the First Minister signed a new Global Goals Partnership Agreement with the President of Malawi on behalf of each government. In this new Agreement, the two governments committed to realise the vision of the Global Goals, and to do so through our 150-year-old tradition of partnership working. Our two governments agreed to build on previous collaborations, and committed to achieve the Global Goals by focussing on six key strands: health; education; civic governance; sustainable economic development; renewable energy, and water and climate. In focussing on the above Global Goals, both governments however acknowledged the need for all work to contribute towards all of the Global Goals, reflecting their holistic and cross-cutting agenda. The new Global Goals Partnership Agreement supersedes the previous 2005 Cooperation Agreement.
Between 2015 and 2018 we funded 20 projects worth a combined value of £9.2 million. View the funding allocated to each of these projects.
Malawi Development Programme 2018 to 2023
The successful applicants for the new Malawi Development Programme 2018-2023 have now been announced, following completion of the 2017-2018 competitive funding round. Between 2018 and 2023 we are funding 11 projects worth a combined value of £11.4 million. View the funding allocated to each of these projects.
All enquiries regarding this funding round itself should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Between 2008 and 2017, we provided funding for projects addressing food security, renewable energy, climate change, and water in Rwanda as part of our wider sub-Saharan Africa Development Programme. Since 2017, Rwanda is one of our three sub-Saharan partner countries along with Malawi and Zambia.
In March 2017 we launched the Rwanda Development Programme Funding Round 2017, which is being administered by the Corra Foundation. Applications were received from Scotland-based organisations interested in applying for international development grants to deliver projects in Western and Southern Provinces, Rwanda.
The successful applicants have now been announced, with £8,776,334 being awarded to 7 projects between 2017 and 2022. View the funding allocated to each of these projects.
Between 2008 and 2017 we provided funding for projects addressing food security, sustainable organic agriculture and climate change in Zambia, as part of our wider sub-Saharan Africa Development Programme. Since 2017, Zambia is one of our three sub-Saharan partner countries along with Malawi and Rwanda.
In March 2017 we launched the Zambia Development Programme Funding Round 2017, which is being administered by the Corra Foundation. Applications were received from Scotland-based organisations interested in applying for international development grants to deliver projects in Central Province, Zambia.
The successful applicants have now been announced, with £6,289,536 being awarded to 6 projects between 2017 and 2022. View the funding allocated to each of these projects.
Since 2013 we have provided funding to create a scholarships programme in Pakistan that enables women from disadvantaged backgrounds to study Masters courses in education and subjects relating to the environment. More recently, we provided funding for a Children's Scholarship Programme in Pakistan. Both scholarship programmes are run for us by British Council Pakistan, and have received a total of £670,000 from the International Development Fund (IDF) up to 2017. A new two-year Scholarship Programme 2017 to 2019 was announced by the First Minister in August 2017 of £650,000).
The Scottish Government’s Pakistan Scholarships Programme began with £670,000 (2013 to 2016) from the International Development Fund to run scholarship programmes in Pakistan to enable young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to study Masters courses in education and subjects relating to the environment. This was then extended to provide funding for a Children’s scholarship programme. Both scholarships were run for the Scottish Government by British Council Pakistan. In April 2017 the First Minister announced a further two-year programme, providing £650,000 to continue a new round of scholarships. The new round of scholarships built on the existing programme for young women to include new Masters scholarships subjects in engineering under STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). By the end of the 2019 cycle the total amount received by British Council Pakistan for the scholarships programme was £1,320,000.
In 2019 the Scottish Government launched the five-year £400,000 per annum programme for the Scotland Pakistan Scholarships for Young Women and Girls. This scholarship programme funds graduate studies for Pakistani women in any Higher Education Commission recognised university across Pakistan, as well as providing underprivileged young girls at secondary school level (grades 8 to 12) with scholarships, ensuring that their education is not hindered due to financial constraints – an issue that is faced by majority of the girls in Pakistan.
At the Higher Education level, Scotland Pakistan Scholarships for Young Women and Girls provide scholarships in the fields of:
- sustainable energy
- agriculture and food security
- health sciences
- STEM education (only applicable at Master’s level)
The Scholarship programme is fully inclusive, aimed at young women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. A quota has also been set for girls belonging to minority groups and girls with disabilities.
At the school level, a 20% minority and 20% disadvantaged quota has been set. At the university level, a 10% quota has been set for minority and disability groups.
Since the scholarships were first launched in 2013, over 1,400 young women in the universities stream have benefitted from the Scotland Pakistan Scholarship Scheme across Pakistan. In the schools’ stream over 13,000 school children have been supported. Since 2013 the total amount of Scottish Government funding to British Council Pakistan for the scholarships is £2,520,000.
We will continue to fund scholarships through the IDF as our Pakistan Development Programme. These dedicated scholarships, and collaboration with key Scottish educational agencies focused on education system improvement, also support the education and skills strand of the Pakistan Engagement Strategy.
The Small Grants Programme is now closed.
We established our Small Grants Programme in 2013 to help grow the international development sector in Scotland and to support it in helping some of the world's most vulnerable communities in our partner countries of the time.
The Programme makes grants of up to £60,000 available to projects lasting up to three years, and grants of up to £10,000 for feasibility studies and capacity building work lasting up to one year.
Eligible projects must contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the alleviation of poverty and economic growth in one of our partner countries.
So far, grants have been awarded in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia for activities in relation to the following priority themes: education, health, sustainable economic development, civic governance and society, food security, renewable energy, climate change, water:
- see details of the grants awarded from 2020 to 2021
- see details of the grants awarded from 2019 to 2020
- see details of the grants awarded from 2018 to 2019
- see details of the grants awarded from 2014 to 2017
Under our International Development Strategy, we committed to continue to fund our Small Grants Programme. We will keep it under review so as to make any improvements deemed necessary, including possible changes to its geographic focus in line with the Strategy.
Given that the Programme had been in pilot form since we started it in 2012, with only minor changes each year discussed in advance with the sector, we felt by last year that it was appropriate to subject it to a wholesale independent review. Therefore, in September 2019, in Protecting Scotland's Future: the Government's Programme for Scotland 2019-2020, we set out in relation to international development that we would review our Small Grants Programme.
The review of the Programme was completed by independent consultants (Arrivo Consulting Ltd with Philippa Bonella) commissioned by the Scottish Government to carry out the review.
The purpose of the review, as set out in the ToR, is to determine:
- are the Programme aims and objective fit for purpose?
- does the Programme deliver value for money?
- are the correct structures and incentives in place to deliver on the strategic objectives of the Programme?
The objectives of the review were identified as:
- to critique/evaluate whether the original purpose of the Programme is broadly still relevant and fit for purpose
- to critique the potential for tension in the Programme: the desire on the one hand to support small organisations in Scotland and build their capacity whilst on the other to support some of the world's most vulnerable communities in our partner countries, and offer viable options for alternative models to remove that tension
- to offer viable recommendations for improving the delivery and structure of the Programme
- to consider whether or not the Programme should be continued