International Development 2019-2020: contribution report

This is the third Scottish Government’s contribution to International Development report. It takes a holistic look at a wide cross-section of international development activity, including a reflection on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Content of the Report

This 2019/20 Report brings together the Scottish Government’s overall contribution to international development, through a reflection of the:

  • Impact of COVID-19 [CH 1];
  • International Development Fund (IDF); managed by the International Development Team, working to Minister for Europe and International Development [CH 2];
  • Other funding and activities: including the Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF), Climate Justice Fund (CJF) and global citizenship [CH 3].

Background to the report

This is the third report highlighting the Scottish Government’s contribution to International Development. The previous reports covered 12 months from the periods April 2017 to March 2018 and April 2018 to March 2019. This report however, reflects on 18 months from the period April 2019 to December 2020, to allow us to take into account the impact the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it required us, and the initiatives we support, to make. The report is therefore structured differently to its predecessors, beginning with a reflection on the impact of COVID-19. However, as with previous reports, it then takes a holistic look at a wide cross-section of Scottish Government international development activities.

Whilst COVID-19 has been a dominant force this year, the International Development Fund (IDF) remains at the forefront of our efforts to support initiatives in our partner countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Pakistan. This report also captures our work across other Scottish Government Ministerial portfolios for positive international development outcomes, as part of our commitment on the “Beyond Aid” agenda and policy coherence.

A key development in reporting this year is the development of a new indicator for the National Performance Framework (NPF). In November 2020 a report was published on the National Indicator for Scotland’s Contribution to International Development. The outcomes of this report and the national indicator will be taken into account in the next contribution report.

Context of the report

This report is written against the backdrop of the most uncertain of times. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the world. We will report on the impact this has had on the initiatives that the IDF supports in chapter one. It is also clear that COVID-19 will remain a threat for some time to come, and future-proofing against such threats will be important. For that reason in September 2020, the Scottish Government, as part of the Programme for Government, undertook a review of the current approach to international development. This is to ensure that going forward 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 programme as a whole has been considered within the review, consulting partner country governments and civil society, and particular consideration has been given to the balance of future spend between Scotland and our partner countries, in light of the commitment to partner-led development. This review was undertaken from September 2020 to January 2021 and will be reported on in the coming months.



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