International Development - national indicator development: research report

The report outlines the research commissioned for the development of the indicator ‘Contribution of development support to other nations’ that forms part of the National Outcome ‘We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally’ in the refreshed National Performance Framework

1. Introduction

1.1. The objective of this assignment is to develop a methodology for the calculation of the national indicator Contribution of development support to other nations that forms part of Scotland's National Performance Framework (NPF).

1.2. The NPF was refreshed in 2018 and contains a new National Outcome 'We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally'. The Contribution of development support to other nations will be one of a suite of six indicators that will measure Scotland's progress against this outcome.

1.3. The NPF uses indicators to measure Scotland's progress against the national outcomes. These indicators provide a measure of national wellbeing. They include a range of economic, social and environmental variables.

1.4. In addition, an NPF indicator should be:

  • A measure for Scotland, not just the Scottish Government;
  • Mainly focused on those policy areas where Scotland has devolved responsibility;[5]
  • Based on a transparent and international data sources that can be updated in a timely fashion;
  • Not be dependent on comparisons with other countries;
  • Be consistent over time so that Scotland's progress can be assessed.

1.5. Discussions with Scottish Government also highlighted that the nature of current international development practice may evolve in future and so the indicator(s) should be designed with this in mind and a potential lifespan of up to ten years. In particular, Scotland is currently developing a 'beyond aid' strategy that should be considered in developing the NPF indicators.

1.6. The focus of these proposed indicators is Scotland and the characteristics that make its contribution to international development unique.

1.7. This assignment has followed a mixed-methods approach, combining discussions with a range of stakeholders and experts with analysis of available research papers and datasets.

  • A workshop with the Scottish Government International Development policy team;
  • A workshop with the Center for Global Development relating to their Commitment to Development Index;
  • Telephone discussions with stakeholders in a range of organisations supporting international development activity from the education, health and justice sectors;
  • Presentation of outline proposals for the structure and example indicators to Scottish Government policy officers and external stakeholders at two workshops to test options and draw on their expertise to identify variables.

1.8. The main body of this report summarises our findings and the rationale for the design of the proposed indicator components for the NPF composite indicator. More detailed analyses are included in the annexes.



Back to top