The Scotland Malawi Partnership is delighted to make 2020 its Year of Governance Strengthening
Scotland and Malawi have a unique 160-year shared history, marked by two-way solidarity, mutual respect and mutual understanding. This unique friendship offers a strong platform for cooperation in the area of governance strengthening.
We believe there is strong value in creating a safe, supportive and useful space to talk about governance challenges; discussing our respective contexts in order to build mutual understanding, share experience, and explore further collaboration between our two nations.
With our friends and partners in Malawi, we recognize that both Scotland and Malawi face a number of distinctive governance challenges in 2020. While respectful of the many differences between Scotland and Malawi, we believe the same values, principles and ethos are relevant in both contexts, as we work to support governance strengthening in both countries.
Good governance is essential at every level of civic, business, governmental and parliamentary life. This is, we believe, a conversation that is relevant to all of us.
There is no organisation that cannot strengthen its governance systems further: investing in governance strengthening is a sign of organisational good health, rather than an admission of failings.
In this spirit, the SMP will use 2020 to support governance strengthening across three spheres:
1) Within the SMP itself [our sphere of control]
2) Amongst the SMP membership [our sphere of influence]
3) In wider contexts across our two nations: [our sphere of concern]
We believe that we have a stronger mandate to speak externally about governance strengthening if we have first done all we can to strengthen our own organisational governance, and supported governance strengthening across our 1,200+ members. We commit to sharing the outcomes, learning and developments from our own governance review publicly, and in this way, we hope our own learning supports our members’ learning and, together, this then informs and supports our wider influencing.
Most crucially, we hope that through our Year of Governance Strengthening we help normalize conversations around governance and governance strengthening.
This is, principally, a civic endeavour, led by the people of Scotland and Malawi, and our leading civic institutions, including higher education institutions, NGOs, trade unions, think tanks, national academies and businesses. We also invite and encourage active participation amongst all three of our governments and parliaments (Scottish, Malawian and UK), if they wish. However, we think it is important that this work is not funded by any government, and hence the wider governance strengthening work described here (i.e. everything beyond governance strengthening within the SMP), is not funded from our Scottish Government core grant but rather from the SMP’s own independent funds.
We have had to pause some elements of our Year of Governance Strengthening due to our Covid-19 work but we hope to continue events and engagements, on digital formats, through the autumn of 2020, and we will likely extend the campaign into 2021. To get involved, please email david[at]scotland-malawipartnership.org.