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

4. Populating the Index with Data

4.1. Table 4.1 sets out the raw data for the selected indicator components. Full source information is included and this is also available at request in the accompanying excel workbook. We have data for the period 2014 to 2017 for all indicators and to 2018 for some. Further data for 2018 will become available in future. For this reason, 2017 was chosen as the baseline year for the indicator. The prevailing value of each indicator component is set to equal 100 in 2017 and other years are expressed as variations from this year.[31] Previous data for before 2014 is more restricted, because either the data series did not exist or definitional change mean that the data are not directly comparable.

4.2. As discussed previously all the indicators bar the Value of Agricultural subsidies are expected to have a positive impact on policy coherence the larger their value. This is not the case for the Value of Agricultural subsidies so the indicator is the inverse (i.e. 1/index). This means that as the value of Agricultural subsidies rises, the index falls and vice-versa.

4.3. Where relevant indicators have been constructed as proportions, for example, value of goods imports from least developed ODA countries as a proportion of all non-EU goods imports. This has the effect of dampening any fluctuations that may be due to other factors affecting the absolute level of the indicator (such as a general decline in research funding). Compared to using just the absolute value of imports from least developed ODA countries there is some evidence that indicator demonstrates less variation. However, there are too few observations available to provide a formal statistical analysis of the variation in the indicator values.

4.4. A number of characteristics can be observed of the distribution of indicator values:

  • Three indicators have relatively small ranges of less than 10% of their baseline value (Proportion of total waste managed in Scotland, Agricultural Subsidies and value of the low carbon economy)
  • Just on indicator has a range above 50% and that is because the value in the baseline year is more than 2.5 times higher than the next largest, with the other four values being within 20% of each other (Research funding involving LDC country partners).
  • Three have a range between 20 and 40% (asylum seekers in Scotland, HE students from LDCs and Goods imports from LDCs).
Table 4.1: Calculation of NPF Indicator components and Indices
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
We are good global citizens
National Statistics regional data on number of Asylum seekers in receipt of Section 95 support: 30 June figures 2,521 2,649 3,209 3,649 3,916
Mid-year population estimates Scotland 5,347,600 5,373,000 5,404,700 5,424,800 5,438,100
Asylum seekers settled in Scotland per 100,000 population 47.14 49.30 59.37 67.27 72.01
Index value 70.08 73.30 88.27 100.00 107.05
HE Students in Scotland Institutions from DAC Least Developed Countries (Academic years 14-15 to 17-18)2 760 945 970 870
Total Non-EU HE Students in Scottish Institutions2 29,210 29,980 31,046 32,630
Percentage of Students from DAC Least Developed Countries 2.6% 3.2% 3.1% 2.7%
Index value 97.6 118.2 117.2 100.0
We avoid harm to the development of other nations
Total waste managed in Scotland (Tonnes)3 9,251,293 10,277,684 10,250,903 10,405,781
Total waste managed in Scotland and abroad (Tonnes)3 10,364,209 11,393,752 11,748,493 11,931,754
Proportion of total waste managed in Scotland 89.3% 90.2% 87.3% 87.2%
Index value 102.4 103.4 100.0 100
Value of the Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economy (LCREE) in Scotland (£bn)4 10.7 10.1 10.4 11.1
Total GVA Scotland current prices (£bn)7 128.9 129.8 133.7 138.6
Percentage of LCREE 8.3% 7.8% 7.8% 8.0%
Index value 103.7 97.1 97.1 100
Total Payments and subsidies to Agricultural production5 522 479 486 489 502
Index value 106.7 98.0 99.4 100.0 102.7
Index value (inverse) 93.7 102.1 100.6 100.0 97.4
We support development in other nations
Total value of UKRI research funding for Scottish institutions involving partners in ODA least developed countries6 £6,826,292 £6,848,663 £2,565,139 £17,496,705 £6,708,800
Total value of UKRI research funding for Scottish institutions £320,352,726 £347,399,354 £253,451,899 £320,663,948 £406,527,100
Percentage of ODA research funding of total research funding 2.13% 1.97% 1.01% 5.46% 1.65%
Index value 39.1 36.1 18.5 100.0 30.2
Value of the Scottish Government's International Development Funding (£) 8.292.750
Value of of international development funding reporting on protected characteristics 3.224.798
The percentage of spending out of the IDF budget of projects that report/should report on protected characteristics 38.88%
Index Value 100.0
Value of goods imports from ODA countries (£000's)7 124,441 195,929 197,124 253,337 223,438
Value of goods imports all non-EU (£000's)7 14,514,147 12,272,471 13,188,847 15,116,761 15,193,475
Proportion of goods imports from least developed ODA countries 0.9% 1.6% 1.5% 1.7% 1.5%
Index value 51.2 95.3 89.2 100.0 87.8

1 Home Office Asylum and Protection - Section 95 support by local authority statistics and Population Estimates Time Series Data

2 Table 11 - HE student enrolments by domicile and region of HE provider 2014/15 to 2018/19

3 Scotland's environment - waste from all sources

4 Direct and indirect activity in the low carbon and renewable energy economy generated £79.6 billion turnover in 2017 and GDP Quarterly National Accounts, 2019 Quarter 2

5 Total Income from Farming Estimates for Scotland, 2016-18

6 Gateway to Research total research funds for lead researcher in Scottish Institution and research collaborator in DAC least developed country

7 Get trade data

4.5. The trends in the indicator values are also mixed:

  • Four indicators increase steadily to their baseline value in 2017 (Asylum seekers in Scotland, Goods imports from LDCs, Agricultural subsidies and HE students from LDCs apart from the baseline year).
  • Two decline marginally over the same period (Waste managed in Scotland and Value of the low carbon economy).
  • One (value of R&D contracts in HEIs in partnership with LDC ODAs) has an outlier value in the baseline year.[32]

4.6. Table 4.2 presents the overall index for Scotland's contribution to the development of other nations. This is the geometric mean of the indices for the seven indicators. As noted previously, using a geometric mean has the advantage of reducing the impact of outliers on the average and so producing a more stable index. Over the period, the index have varied by just under 25% compared to an average of 35% across the individual indicator indices (but over the first three years variation is less than 10%).

Table 4.2: 2014-17 Contribution to development to other nations
2014 2015 2016 2017
Index of Scotland's Contribution to the Development of other nations 75.2 84.4 77.5 100.0

4.7. While we are not in a position to forecast the future direction and scale of change in the index, we believe that it would be prudent to start with an assumption that changes in the index of 5+/- should be considered the threshold for reporting change. On the basis that 2017 index is set to the baseline of 100, this would mean observed changes in the index should be reported accordingly:

Table 4.3: Threshold for change
Value of Index in 2018 Measure of change
greater than 105 Improving index value
95 to 105 Maintaining index value
Less than 95 Worsening index value

4.8. If in future, the index demonstrates more significant variation, then these should be reviewed. It should be noted that there is no current basis for estimating how much of a change in the index will deliver tangible impacts on policy coherence that will deliver sustainable development. To date research has not been able to establish a robust analysis of the relationship between these



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