Stand for election to SMP Board

24 September 2021

The SMP is governed by a Board of up to 16 Trustees who are usually elected by the Membership at the AGM, to serve a term of three years. At the 9th October AGM, which is taking place on Zoom, we have six places available on the Board (meeting the SMP’s constitutional requirement for one third rotation annually).

Deadline extended

Please contact us by midnight, Wednesday 6th October.

We are keen to invite Members that would like to become more involved in the Partnership to stand for election to the Board by completing this short form and emailing to David before midnight, Wednesday 6th October.

We ask that those standing for election read our Information Pack for Prospective New Trustees. We recognise this is a long document: much of the content is for information and completeness, but prospective applicants should pay particular attention to pages 11-15 and the Appendices which relate to best practice.

We will share details about all those who are standing for election in advance of the 9th October AGM with all the membership, with information about how members can vote.

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Why join?

The SMP is an amazing national network: energetic, dynamic, innovative and values-driven. We don’t believe Malawi should be defined by its poverty or treated with pity: we believe in partnership and not just charity. We feel our decade and a half championing an approach to international development underpinned by mutual respect, mutual understanding and dignified two-way partnerships, is really helping drive some exciting developments in the sector. If you share these values and this vision and want to help lead the Partnership into this next exciting chapter, now’s the time to throw you hat into the ring!

What skills are we after?:

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

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

Having undertaken this skills-audit, the Board is keen to encourage individuals with any of the following experience to apply:

  • 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 live 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.

Please don’t be put off if you don’t have expertise in the above areas. It’s not essential. All Boards needs a wide range of skills and if you are interested in joining the Board and feel you have something to offer, then please consider putting your name forward.

The most important thing is that Trustees are energetic, engaged and committed to supporting the bilateral relationship.

What’s the commitment?:

The Board meets six times a year (February, April, June, August, October, December), currently these are two-hour meetings, taking place on Wednesday evenings, currently by Zoom. We would anticipate face-to-face meetings to be held in Edinburgh City Chambers as soon as covid restrictions are fully lifted.

All those standing for election should be committed to attend these meetings (in person or by video link) and willing to offer an average of two hours of time by email between meetings.

We’re a friendly bunch of Malawi enthusiasts and always throw a good Christmas social, even if has to be on Zoom!

Diversity and inclusion:

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.

CLICK HERE for more details about our current Board.