About this event

Supporting global solidarity (also known as global citizenship) in Scotland has remained a key focus for the Scottish Government’s International Development Programme and they continue to support Scotland’s civil society through a range of means.

Currently almost £800,000pa from their International Development Fund is allocated to core funding a range of civil society networking bodies to support global citizenship in Scotland and our partner countries:

  • £356,914pa to support wider civil society in Scotland, split between 2 organisations: Scotland’s International Development Alliance (£194,487pa) and the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (£162,427pa); and a further
  • £372,018pa specifically to support civil society links between Scotland and Malawi, split between 2 other organisations: the Scotland Malawi Partnership (£242,536pa) and its sister organisation us, the Malawi Scotland Partnership (£129,482pa).
  • They also provide extra ad hoc funding to these organisations, out with their core costs, to support important areas such as safeguarding.

Additionally, during the course of our pilot Small Grants Programme they also provided support to small charities and grassroots organisations for capacity building. Following an independent Review of the Small Grants pilot programme (International Small Grants Programme: review, published October 2020), it was decided and announced in March 2021 that the pilot Programme would not continue.

In his letter of 1 March 2022 to the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee, the Minister stated “we continue to place great value on the role of civil society in Scotland, and the appetite for global citizenship in our local communities, staff in our public bodies including NHS Scotland, and private sector companies too. This is all a key part in how Scotland contributes globally to the UN Sustainable Goals, with the recognition of all countries as these Goals were agreed in 2014 that the journey to achieve them would involve “Governments as well as Parliaments, the UN system and other international institutions, local authorities, indigenous peoples, civil society, business and the private sector, the scientific and academic community – and all people”

In light of that, the Minister for International Development has indicated that he would be keen to hear thoughts on how the SG can support and engage with civil society following the closure of the Small Grants programme with a view to future more impactful programming. We are therefore running a series of focus groups throughout July to hear the view of interested parties. The SG is respectfully asking that individuals attend one session only, to allow as broad a range of voices as possible to contribute. We are particularly keen to ensure attendance from groups that might otherwise be under-represented.


The Context

As part of implementing the outcomes of our 2021 review of the SG’s approach to International Development, the Scottish Government wishes to engage with Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in Scotland and in thei International Development Partner countries on the viability and desirability of introducing a Global Solidarity Fund. The aims of the proposed fund could be as follows;

  • In Scotland, it could support global citizenship and grassroots organisations beyond the support for civil society the Scottish Government already funds. The aim of any funding could be potentially for advocacy and/or institutional capacity building in supporting small CSOs to obtain grants from other funding sources.
  • In our partner countries, this could provide a new direct funding stream for CSOs as part of our commitment to shift power to the Global South. The aim of the funding could again potentially be for advocacy and/or institutional capacity building.

Current thinking within the Scottish Government is this could be funded annually from the current International Development Fund with a proposed budget of around £0.3-£0.5M per annum. Funding could be awarded on a competitive basis via an outsourced provider again appointed on a competitive basis.

They are very much looking forward to engaging with CSO friends in a series of inclusive focus groups which will shape thinking on this proposal going forward.

The Discussion

To enable them to get the most from the focus group in the time available, discussions will centre around a set of questions. These have been agreed following input from the Scottish Government’s core funded bodies (The Alliance, Scotland Malawi Partnership, Malawi Scotland Partnership and the Scottish Fair Trade Forum). Please take some time to read them over in advance of the session.

Q1 – Should the Global Citizenship Fund be available to a) organisations in Scotland b)organisations in our partner countries (Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda) c)both d)something else? Why?

Q2 – The Scottish Government currently spends 0.8m on funding four core funded bodies. If we were to provide a further £0.3-0.5m what level of grant would you like to be able to access?

Q3 – If the Scottish Government were to provide funding for advocacy what do you envisage advocating for, and to whom?

Q4 – If we were to provide capacity building grants, what would that mean for the future of your organisation?

Q5 – Have you ever received funding from any part of the Scottish Government in the past? If so, what for?

Q6 – Did the grant have the impact you hoped it would, either on a)your organisation b) your beneficiaries? If not, why?

Q7 – What are the barriers for smaller and under-represented groups when applying for funding?

Q8 – How best can the Scottish Government support diversity and inclusion especially for smaller organisations and under-represented groups?

Q9 – Are you a member of one (or more) of the bodies which receive core funding from the Scottish Government (The Alliance, Scotland Malawi Partnership, Malawi Scotland Partnership, Scottish Fair Trade Forum)? If yes, what practical support have you received from them in the past, and what kind of support would you like to receive from them in the future?

Q10 – What does Global citizenship/solidarity mean to you?

here are the links:

1 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379184329537

13 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379187830007  

15 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379188251267   

19 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379188542137   

20 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379191972397

21 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379190869097

25 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379192383627

28 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379192985427

29 July https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/379193376597

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