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.

Next Steps

As has been reiterated throughout this report, we see this Review as the start of the process in responding to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matters movement and not the end: both for implementing changes in our IDF Programme as well as the application of the new Principles to the wider contributions to international development by Scottish Government Ministerial portfolios. 

We outline here some initial next steps in taking these outputs forward, which will be reviewed and refined as we progress further discussions with partners and institutions in our partner-countries and Scotland; other areas across government and the international development community. Initial steps include:

  • Work with current IDF partners on implementing the Principles:
    • to ensure a pathway of alignment with the Principles by existing IDF funded organisations 
    • together develop mechanisms to ensure that all future projects that we fund under the IDF align with the Principles
    • to implement mechanisms to future proof our programme  
  • Work with partner country experts and others to effect the key changes which we intend to make to our IDF Programme:
    • Establish the Global South Programme Panel and, with the Panel, develop the remit and Terms of Reference for the group
    • Design the Equalities Programme, with a refocused budget, in the immediate term, to support the focus on gender equality within that wider Equalities Programme
    • Migrate the current IDF country- focused programmes over onto the new structure to align with those existing programmes completion dates:
      • Refine our offer in Rwanda and Zambia in line with the refocused thematic priorities, whilst maintaining our existing agreed themes in Malawi
      • Refresh our funding criteria 
    • Expand our long-term institutional partnership in Scotland with which to build and collaborate on a range of successful initiatives to deliver on our "Institutional Resilience" funding stream
      • Identify, through discussion and agreement, suitable institutions in Zambia and Rwanda interested in building similar long-term, peer-peer partnerships 
      • Progress and deepen current relationships with the College of Medicine in Malawi
  • Work with partner country experts, SG Health, NHSS and others on our current Health programme to expand capacity and partnerships across all three African partner-countries in health. 
  • Strengthen our programme and project Monitoring, Evaluation and learning framework.



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