Scottish Government releases results of International Development Consultation

29 Sep 2016

The Scottish Government has today released the collated analysis of responses to its 2016 international development policy public consultation. CLICK HERE TO READ IN FULL

The Scotland Malawi Partnership is keen to applaud the government for the engaging, accessible and effective manner in which the consultation was conducted, and the transparency with which the responses have been publically shared.

Also today, Dr Alasdair Allan, the Minister for International Development, announced that the Scottish Government will look to focus its future international development work in four countries -Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda and Pakistan, continuing to work through a people-to-people and government-to-government approach.  We welcome this recommitment to Malawi, and to valuing the distinctive people-to-people approach which has developed across civic society.

We understand that, from here, the Scottish Government will work directly with the governments of each of these four partner countries to reflect on local need and establish priorities to take forwards.  With regards Malawi, the SNP 2016 Manifesto and the First Minister’s 2016 Programme for Government committed to renewing and updating the Scotland-Malawi Inter-Governmental Cooperation Agreement.

The Scottish Government undertook this public consultation on its international development programme between February and May 2016. The consultation discussion paper, ‘Meeting Global Challenges and Making a Difference’, invited views about how its policy in this area should develop in the future.

The SMP submitted a detailed response to the consultation, looking to communicate the core values and priorities of our diverse membership.  We invited members to feed their views into the SMP, we shared drafts of our submission and, most importantly, we encouraged members to have their own say by submitting directly to the Scottish Government themselves.

The report tells us that a total of 129 responses were received from 91 organisations and 38 individuals.  Overwhelmingly, respondents supported the Scottish Government’s ambition and its approach. They highlighted the emphasis on partnership working, civic engagement, capacity building and long-term commitment, as exemplified by Scotland’s work with Malawi, and drew attention to the perceived success of this.

Respondents frequently drew attention to the success of this approach and evidence pointing to the multiplier effect associated with this way of working.

There was a high degree of consensus that adopting a partnership approach in pursuing international development work was central to good practice, and was key to efficient and effective working and the achievement of long-term sustainable outcomes.

The report tells us that, in general, respondents voiced:

  • Support for the Scottish Government’s broad and distinctive approach, based on collaboration, partnership working, engagement with civic society – at home and in partner countries;
  • Praise for the four networks core-funded by the Scottish Government which were seen to be an important element in the overall approach; there were calls for the networks to take a greater role in activities such as coordination, facilitating collaboration, and knowledge exchange;
  • Support for a continued relationship with Malawi, and for the approach taken in working with Malawi – there was also a suggestion that the Scottish Government might take on a wide

A strong case was made by respondents across all groups and sectors for additional networking and learning opportunities through events, conferences, workshops and / or a ‘matching service’.

We commend the Scottish Government for the transparency it has shown in having all responses to this consultation independently collated and for this report to be made publically available.  We encourage members to review the report.