Launching: Results of the 2021 Members Needs and Impact Survey

20 April 2021

We're keen to say a really big THANK YOU to the almost 100 members who took the time to complete our Member Needs and Impact Survey, and we're delighted to now publish the results.

We’re keen to say a really big THANK YOU to the almost 100 members who took the time to complete our Member Needs and Impact Survey, and we’re delighted to now publish the results:

CLICK HERE to read the full results of the SMP 2021 Member Needs and Impact Survey.

We are a member-led network, so having this detailed feedback from a cross-section of our 1,250 members, is hugely useful. Every word of feedback through the survey has been read and digested by the staff team and Board, and will feed into our work going forwards.

Report Highlights:

80% of respondents felt that membership of the SMP in 2020-21 “helped strengthen, support or develop their links with Malawi”.

The most common words used when members described the SMP’s impact were: “essential”, “invaluable”, “understanding” and “Malawi voices”. The overwhelming majority of respondents felt all the SMP’s strategic objectives had been met in 2020/21 (ranging from 92% to 100%).

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with particular praise for the SMPs: Covid-19 response coordination work, information dissemination, guidance on appropriate support, networking and support for collaborations, youth engagements, digital innovations increasing inclusivity and amplifying Malawian voices, inspiration and positivity, helping members see the big picture, access to senior government representatives.

A number of members highlighted that this has been a challenging year for all and they haven’t been able to attend as many events as they would have liked (while others said they were able to attend more than usual because of the shift to digital).

88% of respondents said the SMP had helped share members’ experience and learning in innovative and useful ways. 93% of respondents said the SMP offers a welcoming, diverse and inclusive space for people to engage. Ideas for how to sustain/improve diversity included: listening to a diverse range of Malawian voices, continuing youth leadership

Ideas for further strengthening the SMP’s work included: think about shift to in-person/hybrid events when allowed, earlier notice of events, support getting goods to Malawi, access to government representatives, increased diaspora engagement, highlight members’ work

Member priorities included: girls’ education, Fighting vaccine misinformation, lobbying Scottish Government on transparency and role of civic society, impact of colonialism, re-opening Malawi travel.

Book give away - LIVE on Facebook:

We’re giving away a signed copy of Susan Dalgety’s brilliant new book ‘The Spirit of Malawi’ to ten randomly selected members, from the 96 that completed the survey.

We were delighted to invite members to watch the ‘wheel of fortune’ style draw live on Facebook, on Friday 23rd April at 4pm. Click here to watch the live draw.

SMP’s Response to Feedback:

David Hope-Jones, SMP Chief Executive, said:

“As a member-led network, our Annual Member Needs and Impact Survey is perhaps the single most important dataset in assessing our work and planning our coming priorities.

“I am touched by the positive feedback and kind words of encouragement from the membership, especially given all the challenges everyone has faced in the last year. A great many respondents speak of the crucial, leading role the SMP has played in the last year, tailoring its support through the pandemic and offering inspiration, positivity and encouragement wherever it can.

“There is always more we can do to increase our impact and better serve the needs of our members in Scotland and their partners in Malawi. Reading the feedback and input given in this report, I am keen in 2021/22 the SMP:

  • Continues its Covid-19 coordination work, as most appropriate in this next chapter;
  • Continues a strong focus on news and information dissemination, feeding in the ideas given here on how to further strengthen our weekly bulletin and other digital channels;
  • Looks to capture and continue all the many benefits of the shift to digital, most especially Malawian participation, as we shift back to in-person and hybrid events;
  • Offers support as Malawi fights vaccine misinformation;
  • Looks specifically at the issue of girls’ education, especially in light of the concerning rise in teenage pregnancy through the Covid crisis in Malawi;
  • Finds innovative ways of helping members share updates, information and expertise;
  • Offers opportunities for members to connect with senior government representatives;
  • Continues active youth leadership, youth voice and youth outreach;
  • Further increases diaspora engagement, diversity and inclusion;
  • Looks again at the issues around sustainability;
  • Prioritises the climate crisis, as Scotland hosts COP26;
  • Looks to influence the Scottish & UK governments to make the positive case for an approach to international development underpinned by dignified partnership and civic activism;
  • More actively promotes new members as they join the SMP.

“Over the coming weeks, colleagues and I will continue to digest all the rich feedback in this report and will ensure this member voice is at the very heart of our thinking for this coming year.”