Election of Trustees at 2021 AGM: Members Briefing Pack

06 October 2021

Executive Summary:

We have seven fantastic applications and six empty places on the Board at the 2021 AGM. Details about all applicants and the process followed is given on this webpage to help members decide who they wish to vote for. All SMP members are invited to vote for their six preferred candidates.

Voting is by digital poll. All members will be emailed on 7th October the link to allow them to vote. Only SMP members can vote. They can complete and submit their vote at any time in the two-day window but polling closes at 15.00 on Saturday 9th October. We hope to have the results of the election announced at the AGM, if possible.

Existing Board

The Constitution of the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SCIO) allows for a Board of up to 16 Directors. A term of office for a Director is three years, after which they must stand down but are welcome to stand for re-election should they wish.

Full details about the existing 16 Directors, going into the AGM, is available HERE:

  1. Lady Prof Heather Cubie MBE (Chair) *
  2. Ms Claire Martin (Co-Vice Chair)
  3. Mr Douglas Young (Co-Vice Chair)
  4. Ms Fiona Anderson *
  5. Mrs Charlotte Bevan *
  6. Prof John Briggs
  7. Ms Susan Dalgety
  8. Ms Chimwemwe Dorey
  9. Ms Moira Dunworth *
  10. Prof Andrew Goudie
  11. Dr Blessings Kachale
  12. Ms Gillian McMahon *
  13. Mr Tione Mtalimanja
  14. Dr Rachel Phillips
  15. Mr Denis Robson *
  16. Mr Gift Thompson

* Directors marked with an asterisk are standing down at the AGM

Departures from the Board

At the 2021 AGM six Directors are standing down from the Board: Heather Cubie, Denis Robson, Moira Dunworth, Fiona Anderson, Gillian McMahon and Charlotte Bevan.

We are delighted that Heather Cubie and Fiona Anderson have chosen to stand for re-election to the Board. If re-elected, Heather would continue for her third and final year as Chair of the Board. If not re-elected, the Board would elect a new Chair from within its ranks after the AGM, with the Co-Vice Chairs deputizing until this was complete.

We are keen to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to Charlie Bevan, Moira Dunworth, Gillian McMahon and Denis Robson who will not be standing for re-election.

Charlie Bevan has been a great friend of the SMP for many years, as a valued staff member, a member and most recently as a Trustee. She has committed endless energy to supporting the Partnership over the last decade.

Moira Dunworth, who has previously chaired our Gender Forum and is amongst our most active members, has been hugely valuable on the Board, including helping with all the detailed and important points of governance strengthening – helping co-write our new constitution line by line.

Denis Robson has been a delight to have on the Board. He has brought a wealth of private sector and health links expertise, as well as having direct involvement in community links.

Gillian McMahon has Chaired the Board’s Safeguarding Committee, giving huge amounts of her time to ensuring the SMP gets this crucial area right, while also juggling a busy day job and young family.

Thank you Charlie, Moira, Denis and Gillian for all you time, effort, energy and expertise.

Recruitment process

Over recent months all SMP Members have been invited to stand for election by email, in the bulletin, on the website and across various social media channels.

Every year the Board reviews its current composition prior to the AGM considering three key questions:

  • Does the Board have the necessary technical skills, experience and expertise to undertake its duties?
  • Is the Board broadly representative of the membership it represents?
  • Is the Board sufficiently diverse?

Having undertaken this skills-audit, the Board identified the below priority areas, especially encouraging those with expertise in one of these areas to stand for election:

  • Income generation: It is important that we diversify our income and reduce our reliance on the core governmental grant. We therefore really encourage those with experience in income diversification, including accessing grant funding, to stand for election.
  • Human Resource Management: We have a small staff team but we are keen to ensure we follow best working practice in HR and, after the AGM, will have a key vacancy in our HR Committee.
  • Safeguarding: Safeguarding remains a crucial priority for the Partnership and we are keen to help lead the sector by good example; so we wish to attract at least one new Trustee with professional safeguarding expertise.
  • Digital: With so much of life now taking place digitally, we are keen to attract Trustees with experience of the digital world: how to innovatively use digital tools in new and exciting ways to support networking and member engagements.
  • Senior experience working with Government / Parliament: It is vital that the SMP continues to have strong influence and remains relevant and engaged in policy-making if we are to effectively advance members’ interests and support the bilateral relationship.

While the above areas of expertise were especially valued, and Members are encouraged to reflect on these priority skill sets when voting, we emphasize that all are welcome and encouraged to stand for election. The most important thing is that Trustees are energetic, engaged and committed to supporting the bilateral relationship.

Diversity and inclusion

The SMP has emphasized to its members that, if you are passionate about Scotland’s links with Malawi and can offer your experience, expertise and energy, we’re really keen to have you stand for election, whatever your background. The SMP is a diverse and inclusive organisation and all are welcome.

We are proud to have a diverse board and we are keen to continue this. Once the six Trustees who are standing down at the AGM have done so, the ten remaining will leave the Board:

  • 60% female and 40% male
  • 60% Scottish and 40% Malawian
  • 30% aged over 60; 40% aged 30 – 60, and 30% aged under 30
  • Areas of expertise include: Finance and accounting; Education and schools; NGO sector; Diaspora; Orphans and vulnerable children; Youth engagement; Sport; Media; Engineering; Energy; Medicine/health; Media; Politics; Economics; and High level government knowledge

We are really keen to keep a strong degree of active Malawi diaspora leadership on the Board and across the SMP.

Applications

There are a total of six places available on the Board at the 2021 AGM and the SMP has received seven applications. Those standing for re-election stand on an equal footing with those seeking election for the first time. These seven outstanding candidates are listed below with a very brief summary written by the Secretariat informed by their application. All other details in this briefing pack are from the candidates themselves:

  • Fiona Anderson: Fiona has served on the Board since 2019 and has been an invaluable source of advice and inspiration, especially in the area of school partnerships. She has been a Head Teacher and is now Team Manager for Early Years. She has been a driving force behind the wonderful Dunblane-Likhubula Partnership. Fiona very kindly volunteered to stand down from the Board a year earlier than she had to, to support the democratic process, for which we are extremely grateful.
  • Jeremy Bagg: Jeremy has been a frequent and valued contributor in our health forums in recent years and has been fantastic at helping support sharing, collaboration and two-way learning between members. He has recently retired from the University of Glasgow Dental School where he developed a major new project with Malawi, securing £1.3m of Scot Gov funding to establish Malawi’s first dental school.
  • Heather Cubie: Heather has served two terms on the Board and has Chaired the SMP for the last two years with great skill. She has one more year as Chair if re-elected as Trustee. She has her own longstanding, hugely successful, cervical cancer screening links with Malawi, through the University of Edinburgh, and has given a huge quantity of time to support the Partnership in recent years.
  • Barry Klaassen: Barry’s work with Malawi dates back to 1986 and has continued through his Emergency Medicine career. He is a trustee of the Scottish Malawi Anaesthesia Project and led the development of Malawi’s first adult emergency and trauma unit. He is another frequent contributor in our Heath Forum, always happy to share his learning and connect with and support other SMP members.
  • Davie Luhanga: Davie is a talented and well-known Malawian musician and his music has helped energise many SMP events over the last six years. He has lived in Scotland for six years and has supported the SMP in many forms over this time. His drumming and music workshops have been a highlight of recent SMP Youth Congresses and he has been involved in supporting a number of SMP members as well as playing at members’ events.
  • Tracy Morse: Tracy has lived in Malawi for 20 years as the University of Strathclyde’s lead in Malawi. Through this time she has helped support the SMP, MaSP and our members with countless random asks of her; in each instance she has been hugely supportive and generous with her time. She is a public health expert and has been key in supporting the SMP to coordinate the Covid response. She has returned to Scotland and is now Strathclyde’s Head of the Centre for Sustainable Development while also continuing involvement in smaller SMP members like FROM Scotland.
  • Emma Wood: Emma has been a driving force for the bilateral relationship in Queen Margaret University where she is a senior lecturer. She has become a passionate supporter, and now Chair, of STEKAskills, raising £80k in two years to fund a STEKA centre for Vocational Skills. She has been a champion in developing new, more equitable and respectful, ways for young people to engage young people in Malawi during school visits.

Voting

All SMP members, whether they attend the 2021 AGM or not, are invited to vote in these Director Elections. They can vote for up to SIX of the above seven applicants.

Voting is by digital poll and all members will be emailed on 7th October the link to allow them to vote. They will have two days to vote, with polling closing at 15.00 on Saturday 9th October.

We hope to have the results of the election announced in the core business section of the AGM, if possible.

We recognize that one of the seven will not be elected and we are keen to pre-emptively say how much we appreciate these seven brilliant individuals putting themselves forward. It is important there is a democratic process, to ensure members are rightly bought-in to our governance programme, so we very much thank the individual who is not elected (this time) for making this possible. In a field of seven such outstanding candidates, not being elected is not any form of negative judgement and we are keen it doesn’t deter them from continuing to volunteer their time for the SMP.

Fiona Anderson

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Primary and Secondary Education/Youth links
  • Faith links
  • Community engagement

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

I have held a passionate interest in Malawi for more than 15 years both through my professional career (within education as Head Teacher and now Team Manager for Early Years) and my personal life. I have visited Malawi on four occassions, one through a British Council Connecting Classrooms programme and three times as part of the Dunblane-LIkhubula Partnership. Two of these visits have also involved leading groups of young men from the Boys' Brigade to work to build and repair classrooms together with the charity Classrooms for Malawi. As one of the Trustees of the The Dunblane-Likhubula Partnership, I have seen first hand the impact of effective and meaningful collaborative working on communities both here in Scotland and Malawi. Both communities have gained a wealth of knowledge, skills and understanding of global citizenship and our rights and responsibilities within an every changing international community. The Partnership has also extended links to schools, congregations, youth organisations and the wider communities in both countries and I believe through my role as Trustee, I have an excellent knowledge of how to engage communities effectively. I have been a supporter of the Scotland Malawi Partnership through my various links to Malawi. I have attended numerous events including AGMs, screen filmings, Presidential visits and symposiums. I believe that my participation in such events shows my support and belief in all the work that the SMP provides both here and in Malawi in partnership with MASP. Formally as a Head Teacher and now as a Team Manager, Early Years, I have also developed skills that would support the work of the SMP. These include leading and managing teams, fundraising and supporting children and young people to see themselves as Global Citizens. My work with the Dunblane Boys' Brigade to plan and lead two trips to Malawi also supported by skills in assessig risk, programme planning would allow me to make a positive contribution to the Scotland Malawi Partnership as a Director.

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): David Hope-Jones

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Heather Cubie

Fiona Anderson photo

Jeremy Bagg

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Health links
  • Further and Higher Education links
  • NGO activity
  • Government engagement
  • Income generation
  • Human Resources
  • Government/parliament engagement

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

I have worked in the university and healthcare sectors since 1983. I recently retired after working for 30 years at the University of Glasgow Dental School, the last 16 of these as Head of the School. This role provided me with significant experience in the higher education and healthcare sectors, including at Government level. In 2016, I was introduced by colleagues at the University of Glasgow to Dr Mwapatsa Mipando who, at that time, was Principal of the University of Malawi College Medicine (now part of the recently launched Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS)). I agreed to work with Dr Mipando and his colleagues to help establish Malawi's first Dental School. Following a successful grant application for £1.3m to the Scottish Government, we established the Maldent Project (www.themaldentproject.com) in 2018. The first dental students were admitted to the new BDS programme in August 2019 and there have been intakes each year since then to both the Foundation and BDS 1 programmes. On a separate work package, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we are now finalising Malawi's first National Oral Health Policy, which is due for Ministerial sign-off imminently. We collaborate with a number of NGOs which support the MalDent Project. I am currently Global Health Director for the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow. I am a former Chair of the Scottish Government National Dental Advisory Committee and currently Chair of the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme. I led a significant number of fund-raising activities at Glasgow Dental School and have recently established a small charity, MalDent Student Aid, to support a hardship fund for dental students at KUHeS. I will shortly be re-engaged by the University of Glasgow on a part-time basis to concentrate on the work of the MalDent Project and related international development activities. If elected, it would be a pleasure and privilage to use some of the generic skills I have acquired in support of the Board of Directors of the Scotland Malawi Partnership.

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): John Briggs

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Dr Rachel Phillips

Jeremy Bagg picture

Heather Cubie

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Health links
  • Further and Higher Education links
  • Governance links
  • Human Resources
  • Safeguarding
  • Finance

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

Since I first went to Malawi in 2013, I have had an unqualified commitment to the partnership between Scotland and Malawi, best evidenced by the amazing, warm friendships developed with colleagues, here and there, through our work on cervical cancer prevention. It has been both an inspiring and humbling journey. I joined the Board of the Scotland Malawi Partnership in 2015 because I saw it as an effective mechanism to create valuable links and develop further lasting and significant friendships. I have been a member of both the HR and Audit & Finance sub-committees since that time, and of the Safeguarding Committee through my second term. I was elected Chair in 2019 after Rev Ken Ross’s retirement and it has been both a privilege and a challenge to follow in Ken’s footsteps. Being a member of the SMP Board has a maximum of three terms, each of three years and if re-elected, I would hope to complete my term as Chair with energy and commitment, provided other Board members agree. There are challenging times ahead both financially and, as we move into a new hybrid age, making better use of digital technology, but acknowledging that we all benefit from face-to-face meetings. I take Trustee responsibilities seriously and through various other Trustee positions over two decades, I have considerable experience in financial and organisational governance as well as in strategic planning.

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): Susan Dalgety

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Denis Robson

Heather Cubie Picture

Barry Klaassen

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Health links
  • Further and Higher Education links
  • NGO activity
  • Government engagement
  • Historical links
  • Cultural links
  • Governance links
  • Safeguarding
  • Government/parliament engagement

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

I became involved with SMP shortly after the official launch to becoming an active and enthusiastic member a few years later which continues to the present day. But like the SMP my associations with Malawi go back further. I first went to Malawi as a final year medical student in 1986 and throughout my subsequent medical career as a specialist in Emergency Medicine have kept links there. Firstly by being involved in the Scottish Malawi Anaesthesia project, a project I am honoured to be a trustee for and subsequently as project lead of the development of the first adult emergency and trauma unit in Malawi at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre . The success of this unit led to the Malawi Government seeking our project teams support to establish similar units in all central hospitals . We sucessfully applied for further Scottish Gov funding and have begun this ambitious plan to develop for the first time in Malawi a national network of emergency care. While presently the pandemic has formally paused our project it has shone a light on how equitible access to emergency care is a human right and essential for all . During my association with SMP and projects in Malawi I have always practiced and aligned to the principals of dignified partnership and respectful people to people relationships. I have seen and experienced the support SMP give to members and organisations and completely support all they do and wish to contribute at board level Having retired from my full time NHS Consultant post in 2020 I still hold an honorary post to allow greater time to deliver our project but also to support wider aims. I not only bring experience in health care after a 34 year career in Emergency medicine but for last 9 years have been Chief Medical Adviser to British Red Cross useful experience in national /international humanitarian work. These aspects of my professional life give me comprehensive experience of safeguarding and active collabortive working inc at government level. While I have developed strong medical /nursing/ Ministry ties over the years in Malawi I also have a wide network that includes hospitality, commerce and personal contacts across Malawi too

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): Mr Sam Riddell

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Ms Gwen Gordon

Barry Klaassen picture

Davie Luhanga

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Community engagement
  • Diaspora engagement
  • Cultural links
  • Diaspora

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

I am keen to be a member of SMP board as I feel I have a wide range of skills to offer. I have a vast experience, understanding and knowledge of Malawian culture. I have worked with several different groups and organisations in Malawi. This has continued through my six years of living in Scotland where I have been able to work with various youth groups, schools and organisations through my music. I have strong leadership skills and I enjoy working with people from different nations and races.

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): Ken Ross

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Susan Dalgety

Davie Luhanga Photo

Tracy Morse

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Health links
  • Further and Higher Education links
  • Community engagement
  • Government engagement
  • Water/Agriculture links
  • Income generation
  • Government/parliament engagement

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

Having lived and worked in Malawi in public health research and higher education for the last 20 years, i recently returned to Scotland with my family to a new role within the University of Strathclyde as Head of the Centre for Sustainable Development. Within both my professional and personal life I am still very much engaged with Malawi through both my academic work, and engagement with organisations such as FROM Scotland and Open Arms Malawi, and am passionate about ensuring that we effectively support Malawi's development through the priorities of her citizens to help the most vulnerable and marginalised in society. I believe I would bring value to the Board through my experience and relationships in both Malawi and Scotland, working hand in hand with colleagues across several universities, government, civil society and the third sector. My work has involved not only research which has provided evidence for Malawian policies and strategies, but I have also been a trusted voice with colleagues and the Government of Malawi in the development of strategies and training programmes at a national level. I am a strong believer in community led development models, which aim to understand and focus on the context and priorities of the population rather than donor imposed priorities using interdsciplinary approaches which i believe SMP can help to coordinate and promote.

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): Andrew Goudie

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Yonah Matemba

Tracy Morse image

Emma Wood

Areas of expertise / attributes (boxes ticked by candidate)

  • Further and Higher Education links
  • Diaspora engagement
  • Gender equality links
  • Young People

* Those areas of expertise highlighted in bold are actively encouraged by the existing Board.

Summary statement from candidate:

I am chair of the charity STEKAskills and a senior lecturer at Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh. STEKAskills (which won an SMP member award in 2019) is a small grassroots charity with a number of Malawians and members of the Malawian diaspora on the board. It has raised in excess of £80,000 in just two years to fund the development of a STEKA Centre for Vocational Skills and Community Enterprise just outside Blantyre, Malawi (the vision of Malawian social entrepreneur and children’s’ rights campaigner, Godknows Maseko). The charity focusses on building solidarity between communities in Scotland and Malawi. Working with a team of young poverty experienced people at the STEKA care home in Blantyre, and its leader, Godknows Maseko, I co-produced a new way for young Scots to interact with poverty experienced peers when they visit Malawi on school trips. This initiative attracted an international development grant from the Scottish Government and we believe that we have designed an innovative alternative to the voluntourism model often followed when young people travel to Malawi to ‘make a difference’. The report evaluating our initiative shows that both the Malawians and young Scots found the experience of participating in our Dialogue Groups life changing and young Scots developed a deep understanding of resilience, the damaging impact of gender inequality, structural inequality and climate change. As an academic I have built a formal relationship between QMU and STEKA resulting in two young women studying filmmaking for 6 months here and Gift Thompson studying an Honours degree in Public Sociology which is about community capacity building and will allow him to take a leadership role in developing the STEKA Centre once he returns to Malawi. My vision for the SMP is to use my experience of having shared my home with three young Malawians over the last 5 years as well as developing close relationships through coproduction of projects with them to ensure that poverty experienced Malawians are heard and that we all address issues raised by decolonisation in our relationship with our friends and peers in Malawi (which has been a steep learning curve for me!)

Application supported by (must be an SMP member): Gift Thompson

Application seconded by (must be an SMP member): Lisa Luhanga

Emma Wood picture