International development programme - review: summary report

The 2020 Programme for Government announced the intention to review the approach to international development in light of coronavirus and this report summarises the findings from that review.

How the Review was undertaken

The Review was completed internally by the International Development Team under the direction of the Minister for Europe and International Development with support from senior management across the Directorate of External Affairs.  

We have been cognisant of the challenge in carrying out the Review during the global pandemic, to carefully manage the speed of its undertaking whilst engaging at an appropriate level with interested parties and stakeholders. In this case a formal written consultation similar to the process undertaken in 2016, where we were developing a new Scottish Government international development policy, was not appropriate.   However, open dialogue is key to our work and as such a suite of virtual review events to engage with stakeholders was  carried out between October and  December 2020. We gathered a wide range of views from well informed voices, who are familiar with our programme, and from new voices who have different yet equally valued views on how we can adapt our programme to better meet the needs of our partner countries. External events held to gather views included:

  • Attendance by the Minister at a range of stakeholder-led events
  • Scottish Government-led roundtables with stakeholders and civil society in partner countries hosted by the Minister
  • Scottish Government-led roundtables with Scottish stakeholders and civil society hosted by the Minister
  • Meetings between the Minister and government representatives from our partner-countries
  • Meeting with International Development academics
  • Meetings between Minister and EU counterparts working in International Development. 
  • Meetings between Minister and diaspora groups living in Scotland
  • Meetings between Minister and the programme's core funded bodies

For a full list of meetings and notes for most of these events please see our web page to access the Covid-19 ID Review page.

Reflecting on our commitment to partner country-led and inclusive development, thematic priorities for the post COVID-19 recovery phase were discussed with representatives of our partner-countries and civil society within each partner-country. We also gathered views and feedback from the sector and other stakeholders in Scotland on our future programme and especially on the draft Principles so we could use their collective knowledge to ensure our programme: supports partner-led development; takes an inclusive approach; and is future-proofed in relation to global threats such as COVID-19 and climate change.



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