SMP launches 2021-23 Strategic Plan

08 September 2021

The Scotland Malawi Partnership is very pleased to share its Strategic Plan for 2021-23, outlining how the Partnership will:

  1. Strengthen and coordinate its members’ links, through information, advice, events and forums
  2. Inform and inspire the public about the people-to-people model of dignified partnership
  3. Celebrate and support the next generation of young people leading the relationship
  4. Influence others & represent members’ interests, ensuring continued public & political support
  5. Develop its own organisation, increasing our impact, efficiency, governance and effectiveness.

For each of these five strands of work, this strategy sets out what the Partnership will continue, what it will consolidate, and what it will adapt, to ensure it can succeed through these changing and challenging time.

Strat plan image 2

Ordinarily, the SMP has a three-year strategic plan which is co-terminus with its triennial core funding agreement with the Scottish Government (SG). This works well as it ensures the Strategy is fully funded, bringing together both the SMP’s SG-funded work and the non-SG funded. The Partnership remains hugely grateful to successive Scottish Governments for their far-sighted strategic support of the SMP.

In March 2020 the SMP Board decided not to sign-off and implement the draft 2020-23 Strategic Plan, which had been developed over the course of the preceding 12 months, through extensive member consultation, because it was clear that so much had changed for Scotland, Malawi and the SMP membership as a result of Covid-19. Instead, the Partnership developed, published and delivered an exceptional Covid-19 Response Strategy and Covid-19 Risk Register, to guide the charity’s work for at least the next 12 months. Through 2020-21, the SMP continued to deliver on its Scottish Government core funded commitments, albeit moving all events and engagements to digital channels, as well as delivering its new Covid-19 Response Strategy.

Feedback from members and stakeholders in the SMP’s 2020/21 end of year review was exceptionally positive, with a strong sense that the SMP had stepped-up to this unique set of challenges well, re-inventing itself as a digital network and delivering Covid-19 Coordination services praised by the President of Malawi.

The SMP Board recognises that the challenge of Covid is a very long way from being over, with almost no Scotland-Malawi travel, worryingly low vaccination rates in Malawi, immense funding challenges, schools struggling to catch-up, and the constant threat of new variants hanging over both nations. However, the Board feels it is important not to entirely forget the 2020-23 Strategy, given so many in Scotland and Malawi had fed their needs, hopes and priorities into the planning.

The Board has therefore returned to the draft 2020-23 Strategy as was, assessing what should continue from this and what should evolve, in the final two years of this strategic period. Keeping this to just the two years remaining, ensures our strategic planning cycle and core finding will once again be co-terminus.

This Strategy is informed by feedback from the SMP’s last full Strategic Plan (2017-20); the Partnership’s 2020-23 core funding agreement with the Scottish Government; and the unique set of circumstances over the last year, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the inspiring Black Lives Matter movement, and major changes in and with the Scottish, UK and Malawian governments and parliaments.

The SMP is committed to remaining an agile organisation. Through these difficult and dynamic times this is more important than ever. This strategy therefore offers a direction of travel rather than strict step-by-step deliverables which must be adhered to. The SMP will be principally led by the evolving needs and priorities of its members and partners and stands with friends in Malawi, as both our nations navigate these testing waters.