Rory Stewart MP, Secretary of State for International Development again praised the Scotland-Malawi model on the 6th June in answer to a DFID question in the House of Commons from Ian Lucas MP about how DFID could better engage civic links with the developing world.
Watch the House of Commons exchange here.
Ian Lucas MP began by asking: “Will he instruct DFID officials to carry out an audit through members of parliament to identify organisations in constituencies who are developing links with developing countries?
Rory Stewart MP replied to this, saying: "Yes, and the absolutely greatest example of this is Scotland and Malawi, which has mapped thousands of amazing Scottish voluntary organisations that are working in Malawi and uncovered work that we didn’t begin to understand.
"I think it is a fantastic idea. I would love to see different regions of the United Kingdom taking the lead in partnership with different countries, ourselves as a department understanding much more about what British charities are doing. If we can get that right, we can get the enthusiasm of the British people, and it is the enthusiasm and soul of the British people behind international development which will ultimately be the best guarantee of this 0.7%.”
The SMP continues to encourage DFID to explore how it can better engage wider civic links with the developing world.
Rory Stewart MP is a longstanding supporter of the SMP’s model.
Representing the UK Government, as Africa Minister, in a Sept 2017 debate, Mr Stewart said: “…above all I pay tribute to the Scotland Malawi Partnership—genuinely one of the most unique, remarkable, interesting and human interweavings of two nations anywhere in the world.”
“…There are three things from which we can learn. The first is, to use a horrible jargon phrase, the civic multiplier—the way in which the Scotland Malawi Partnership, with a relatively modest amount of money, can draw on all the institutions to create a much richer partnership and be more than the sum of its parts. The second element, which has come through time and again in today’s speeches, is mutual respect. Everyone who spoke talked a great deal about equality and about how we can learn as much from Malawi as it can learn from us. Finally, there is the genius of co-ordination and connections. Since 2005 the work of the Scotland Malawi Partnership has been not to create the connections, but to find them and mine them—to draw them out of the soil and reveal to us that thick web of connections between two nations, essentially putting Malawians on the board. That is a very important part of the work of the Scotland Malawi Partnership.”
“…What is so striking about the Scotland Malawi Partnership is that it has found ways of engaging a whole human population. Britain could do that in Malawi or in Tanzania, Uganda or Nigeria. It is a very exciting way of thinking about how to do development in the 21st century. The fact that so many right hon. and hon. Members are here championing international development shows how these human connections give us the legitimacy and centre to make progress. I wish they would also champion international development in the main Chamber and champion the UK aid budget in the same way. I will end by saying zikomo kwambiri—thank you very much.”