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.

New Programme Principles

The new programme principles were designed as part of the Review process. They are for the Scottish Government's own programme and the approach we take to International Development spanning our three African partner countries - Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda and our education offer to Pakistan.  

These Principles apply to the International Development programme in the first instance, but in line with our commitment to policy coherence, the Principles have been agreed by relevant Cabinet Secretaries with responsibility for areas including Climate and Health which currently undertake or fund work in overseas development, as well as those such as Trade, Education and Equalities policy which are recognised as contributing to international development outcomes. Following that cross-Government process:

  • the Principles will be applied in relation to the Climate Justice Fund, climate adaptation and water programmes, with an explicit reference to climate change in the Principles reinforcing our commitment to climate justice
  • the Principles will be applied in the NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme in which there is a joint portfolio interest. Health is the one thematic area prioritised in common by Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda, and therefore remains a key area for co-operation with Scotland across all three Sub-Saharan countries
  • the Principles are aligned with key reforms within education, in particular Learning for Sustainability and the newly established programme which will enhance race equality and anti-racism education
  • the Principles are consistent with the newly published Scottish Government Vision for Trade, particularly around the trade challenge of ensuring coherence with international development outcomes. Trade policy officials will apply the Principles to their work on international development and engage with the Global South Programme Panel to further work on trade and international development
  • the Principles are aligned with broader approached to equality

We have also incorporated in the final version of the Principles the views and feedback from the full range of external stakeholders from the Review events.  In discussing our draft Principles for the wider Scottish Government programme with our Malawian stakeholders, we were pleased that they felt that our Principles aligned well with the discussions undertaken in September 2018 at the Malawi Scotland Partnership / Scotland Malawi Partnership Conference in Lilongwe ("Malawi and Scotland: Together for Sustainable Development conference"). 

The Principles can be found on the Scottish Government website and have been translated into Chichewa, spoken in Malawi, Bemba, spoken in Zambia and Kinyarwanda, spoken in Rwanda. For more details on the drafting of each Principles please see Annex 1. 



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