International development - 2023 programming: presentation text

Presentation from our series of online events on international development review updates for stakeholders held in August and September 2022.

Background reminder - Why the new programming?

Implementing  our international development review

Background 2020/21: Review in light of COVID and black lives matter

The September 2020 programme for government set out our intention to review our approach to international development was announced. To ensure we focus our work on areas where we can make the biggest contribution and difference in our partner countries against the backdrop of new reality of COVID-19. And respond to issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement, its impact for international development.

The September to January review period included engaging direct with partner countries on thematic priorities for post-COVID recovery, and engaging in Scotland on our draft Principles.

In March 2021 our Minister made a written statement to the Scottish Parliament setting out the outcomes of the Review and how we would implement it.

Background: 4 Key Changes

1. build back fairer and stronger by restructuring our funding streams, focused on sustainable economic recovery; institutional resilience; and equalities programme

2. new global south panel to establish panel of experts by experience, help us ensure global south voices continue to be heard beyond the Review to drive and support further positive change.

3. updating our funding criteria to enable more partner country based organisations to apply direct for funding

4. focusing our offer to ensure a focused approach that best matches needs and asks. This is a thematic refocusing.

The purpose of today’s presentation, and what we will cover, is the following

  •  spend
  •  geographic focus
  •  spend focus
  •  approach and portfolio considerations
  •  thematic focus
  •  next steps and what to expect next from us

Key message that Scotland’s international development budget is growing and this creates opportunities

 Trajectory of increasing development funding by incrementally growing our support:

  •   commitment to start to increase the International Development Fund from £10 million to £15 million in this Parliament
  •   Climate Justice Fund also increasing (trebling, to £36m across the Parliament)

 While very small compared to bilateral donors, if focused appropriately can have transformative impact.

Key message that our geographic focus stays the same

Scottish Government remains committed to our existing partner countries, in line with our 2016 Strategy.

Therefore Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda will continue to form our sub-Saharan African project base, enabling the fostering of learning across borders by all involved and support for south-south cooperation and knowledge sharing.

And in Pakistan the Education focus remains.

And we will continue to take a multi-country humanitarian approach provided via our Humanitarian Emergency Fund

Key message on our approach and ethos in future

As both an objective, and as a mainstreamed priority in all spending, we will:

1. Ensure a feminist approach is mainstreamed in spending

2. Mainstream climate justice considerations

3. Take a decolonised/BLM lens on our investments in supporting to shift power South.

4. Align with our International Development Principles (from our 2021 Review)

Looking at our Approach some more firstly on taking a feminist approach to foreign policy also known as FFP.

Scotland has committed to take a feminist approach to foreign policy. This provides us with an opportunity to apply a feminist lens to all of our international activity.

Our overall approach to FFP, and what this means for Scotland will be developed in consultation with stakeholders  we want this to be a truly feminist approach which means developing FFP is from the bottom up/taking a participatory approach.

Based on research and consultation done to date, we know our approach must put the rights and empowerment of women and girls and other marginalised groups at its heart.

It must be intersectional which means we must seek to understand how multiple interconnected social categories, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion and socio-economic status, interact.

Looking at our approach to feminist foreign policy specifically in relation to international development

We have our international development principles co-created during our Review. From this we have committed to take a human rights based approach and to shift the power to the global south.

We are seeking to take a twin-track approach to advancing gender equality within the International Development portfolio by:

  • establishing a new Equalities Programme with a focus on the empowerment of women and girls, as well as targeting other specific areas of inequality
  • mainstreaming gender equality throughout the rest of our international development programming, ensuring that any work undertaken as part of these programmes seeks to support/advance gender equality. For example by applying the gender markers by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Following this, we will explore opportunities to mainstream other areas of equality.

Where possible we will seek to take a participatory approach to grant making. This is a values-led approach that allows meaningful participation of those who are often excluded. This approach centres the expertise of people with lived experience, which helps to better identify key issues, strengthen decision[1]making and reach better outcomes.

Looking at our approach some more on shifting power to the global south

We have set up a global south panel, which will provide advice to the Scottish Government on international development policy making. The first meeting of the global south panel, chaired by our Minister, took place on 22 October.

Panel members include the United Nations Women Country Director Malawi, an educational specialist from Rwanda, a health specialist from Zambia, and representatives of partner country diaspora groups in Scotland namely the Association of Malawians in Scotland, the Scotland Zambia Partnership, the Rwanda Scotland Alliance.

Education and Health are the key areas for initial discussion of the panel.

Agreed to meeting once a month, for the next or initial 6 months, as there is a lot to discuss and the Minister will be attending certain of these meetings

Again looking more at our approach on shifting power

We are developing new direct funding opportunities to Global South organisations. (Building on our previous collaboration with Comic Relief on our joint Levelling the Field Programme  which funded direct to small civil society organisations in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda)

1. new Women and Girls Empowerment Fund, within our new Equalities Programme: will be open to civil society organisations in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda only participatory model to create it, and in delivering this fund

2. new Global Citizenship Fund, within our overall global solidarity programme: co-designed with civil society through our recent focus groups

 funding for capacity building/advocacy for small civil society organisations in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda

Looking at our approach some more in relation to applying our new Scottish Government international development principles

In setting out our overarching ethos we now list our principles:

International Solidarity in an interdependent world means embedding a human rights approach in all our work. We speak out with clarity of purpose and compassion, in support of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

  •  partner-country led development
  •  equality
  •  amplify global-south voices
  •  inclusion and diversity
  •  collaboration and partnerships
  •  innovative, adapting and sustainable
  •  embrace technology
  •  accountable, transparent and safe

Funding approach: our partner countries are looking for focus in our spend

We spoke to partner governments and civil society in 2020 to 2021, as well as looked internally. Given the size of our portfolio, agreement that there is a need for focus and that donors many times Scotland’s size focus on less sectors

In summary need to streamline Scotland’s international development offer

 The following review priorities are below articulated to Scottish Parliament in 2021:

  •   new, heavier focus on health and education, through a gender mainstreaming approach to programing
  •   new equalities programming
  •   climate justice and renewables (via the climate justice fund and the global renewables centre)
  •   water sanitation and health support

A focus on sectors allows for more strategic design and better implementation.

More focused portfolio will mean Scotland better supports strategy, programme management, coherence

Commitment to transparency in the provision of funds, to governments, communities, and organisations seeking funding increased competitive funding, and stronger

Monitoring and evaluation to better support transparency and accountability for investment spend;

  •  aim to provide support where possible to Global South directly, and in all circumstances in partnership
  •  also recognise importance of supporting civil society at home and in Global South

Key message on programming directions: sectoral focus

On health we are currently commissioning a health specialist to assist with design/build of new health programme providing investment to Zambia, Malawi and Rwanda. The programme will focus on reducing the burden of non communicable diseases through expanding equitable access to safe and quality care. And potentially other work in areas such as vaccines and Scottish National Health Service institutional partnerships. The bulk of this new Health programme will then be tendered out competitively;

For an inclusive education programme we are currently commissioning an education specialist to assist with design and build. To note that invitations to tender have been issued and close on 30 September 2022.

On equalities we have a new Women and Girls Empowerment Fund going out to tender. Focus will be on direct support to smaller civil society organisations in Global South, taking a participatory approach to design and run it.

On equalities linked with civic governance this will be through ongoing support for Police Scotland’s peer-peer partnerships with the Malawian and Zambian Police Forces

Sustainable economic development will be targeted through our ongoing support for commercial investment, which is currently the African Lakes Company focused on Malawi, and which brings our funding alongside private funding investment from Scotland

Renewable energy support will be provided through our new Global Renewables Centre.

Now looking at our ongoing support for civil society:

For Global Citizenship our new global citizenship fund for smaller civil society organisations which means direct funding support to civil society organisations in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda, as well as grants to small Scottish non-governmental organisations 

we recently ran a series of focus groups to help design this new global citizenship fund

Aim 1 of our new global citizenship fund is to strengthen global citizenship in Scotland, with funding for advocacy and or capacity strengthening aimed at small and micro-organisations in Scotland;

Aim 2 of our new global citizenship fund is to strengthen civil society organisations and activities in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda, with direct funding for advocacy and or capacity strengthening aimed at small and micro-organisations

We will be tendering next for this new global citizenship fund, to find an organisation to run it on Scottish Government’s behalf

Also to support global citizenship we provide ongoing core funding to networking organisations, which is £729k per annum, non-competitive, currently

Key message on policy linked to programming

 With a sectoral focus, Scotland can look beyond spend, to innovative policy globally, and support to Global South Governments and civil society, for example on vaccine equity for advocacy, as well as programming underway and wider health inequity

  •   Global south rights and decolonisation
  •   climate justice
  •   ensuring policy coherence through the Scottish Government’s new Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill

Key message on next steps in relation to our international development fund

Firstly, on competitive tendering:

Our ambition is to put out as much competitively as possible, bigger shift and moving back to the pre-COVID position

We are designing tenders to support our new sectoral programmes, with aim for funding to commence in 2023-24, for health (2 strands, namely a large funding stream focused on non communicable disease, and ongoing support for NHS global citizenship), education, equalities through a women and girls fund and a new global citizenship fund for small civil society organisations 

Secondly, on non-competitive tendering, this is smaller and includes:

 The Police Scotland partnership with the Malawian and Zambian Police Services   peer-peer programme focused on Protection of Vulnerable Groups, to support a wider range of marginalised groups such as women, children, those with disabilities, LGBTI and people with albinism;

The Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Malawi where, having listened to the views of the Government of Malawi, we have offered annual funding of up to £500k pa to that University with no need to bid and compete. They are currently exploring potential of south-south partnerships with Zambian universities on key areas of mutual interest.

 The African Lakes Company, for our ongoing support for commercial investment in our partner countries.

Key message on our Climate Justice Fund:

Our Climate Justice Fund is distinct from, and additional to, our International  Development Fund. It acknowledges Scotland’s commitment to  international climate finance and recognition of its common but differentiated responsibilities in addressing global impacts of climate change.

Following an independent evaluation in 2021 and feedback from communities and stakeholders who have implemented or have been supported by the Climate Justice Fund first-hand we have set a future approach for action on climate justice.

 This approach will incorporate three pillars of distributive, procedural and transformative climate justice, and recognises the goal of climate justice is that the benefits of sustainable global development are shared equitably through a people centred, human rights approach, and ensures the impacts of climate change do not disproportionately impact those who have done the least to contribute to it.

Key message on next steps in relation to the Climate Justice Fund

For the Climate Just Communities programme we are tendering out a £24 million programme split between three contracts. These break down as one in each of Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia), with each a maximum of £8 million over four years.

The Climate Just Communities Programme tender is now live, with the closing date 18 November 2022.

This programme takes a participatory approach to working with communities to develop and deliver a series of climate change interventions and incorporates the climate justice principles and findings from the evaluation to deliver long[1]term and sustainable outcomes.

For the Climate Justice Toolkit we are tendering this out with a value of £100,000. This meets an ask from stakeholders at COP26 and from the Climate Justice Fund evaluation to provide a one stop location for resources to support delivering climate justice.

Thank you

Scottish Govt International Development Team

Twitter handle is @scotgovID

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