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Development assistance programmes

Development assistance is the first and largest funding stream of our International Development Fund (IDF), and funds our Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia and Pakistan Development Programmes, as well as our Small Grants Programme. These programmes fund projects in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda, and support scholarships in Pakistan.

Funding allocation

We allocate funding to projects being run by a range of Scotland-based organisations, including registered charities, universities, local authorities, NHS Boards, private sector companies (acting on a not-for-profit basis) and social enterprises, with an emphasis on respectful partnership with organisations in our partner countries.

The majority of our development assistance spend is allocated through open and transparent funding rounds. We also fund Scottish networking organisations annually under the development assistance funding stream on a non-competitive basis, and occasionally provide match funding for projects in our sub-Saharan partner countries as funds allow.

See below for projects currently being funded through our IDF's development assistance funding stream, or read about past projects in the archive.

View timescales for all our development assistance programmes.

Malawi Development Programme

Malawi is one of the world's poorest countries and our collaboration with the country dates back to the work of Dr David Livingstone more than 150 years ago. The First Minister signed a Co-operation Agreement with the President of Malawi in 2005, on behalf of each government, agreeing to collaborate on projects to make improvements in four key strands:

  • civic governance
  • education
  • health
  • sustainable economic development

Between 2015 and 2018 we are funding 20 projects worth a combined value of £9.2 million. View the funding allocated to each of these projects

View reporting timescales and templates for Malawi projects.

A new funding round for projects funded under the Malawi Development Programme 2018 to 2024 will open towards the end of 2017, for projects due to start in 2018.

Rwanda Development Programme

Between 2008 and 2017, we provided funding for projects addressing food security, renewable energy, climate change, and water in Rwanda as part of our wider sub-Saharan Africa Development Programme. Since 2017, Rwanda is one of our three sub-Saharan partner countries along with Malawi and Zambia.

In March 2017 we launched the Rwanda Development Programme Funding Round 2017, which is being administered by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland. Applications were received from Scotland-based organisations interested in applying for international development grants to deliver projects in Western and Southern Provinces, Rwanda.

Find more information on the Lloyds TSB Foundation's website.

The successful applicants have now been announced, with £8,776,334 being awarded to 7 projects between 2017 and 2022. Rwanda Development Programme 2017-22

Zambia Development Programme

Between 2008 and 2017 we provided funding for projects addressing food security, sustainable organic agriculture and climate change in Zambia, as part of our wider sub-Saharan Africa Development Programme. Since 2017, Zambia is one of our three sub-Saharan partner countries along with Malawi and Rwanda.

In March 2017 we launched the Zambia Development Programme Funding Round 2017, which is being administered by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland. Applications were received from Scotland-based organisations interested in applying for international development grants to deliver projects in Central Province, Zambia.

Find further information on the Lloyds TSB Foundation's website.

The successful applicants have now been announced, with £6,289,536 being awarded to 6 projects between 2017 and 2022. Zambia Development Programme 2017-22

Pakistan Development Programme

Since 2013 we have provided funding to create a scholarships programme in Pakistan that enables women from disadvantaged backgrounds to study Masters courses in education and subjects relating to the environment. More recently, we provided funding for a Children's Scholarship Programme in Pakistan. Both scholarship programmes are run for us by British Council Pakistan, and have received a total of £670,000 from the IDF up to 2017.

The Women's Scholarship Programme has enabled around 400 young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to study Masters courses in Pakistani Universities. The Children's Scholarship Programme has enabled more than 3,000 children from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds to complete one year of school education at both primary and secondary levels in Pakistan.

We will continue to fund scholarships through the IDF as our Pakistan Development Programme. These dedicated scholarships, and collaboration with key Scottish educational agencies focused on education system improvement, also support the education and skills strand of the Pakistan Engagement Strategy.

Small Grants Programme

We established our Small Grants Programme in 2013 to help grow the international development sector in Scotland and to support it in helping some of the world's most vulnerable communities in our partner countries of the time.

The Programme makes grants of up to £60,000 available to projects lasting up to three years, and grants of up to £10,000 for feasibility studies and capacity building work lasting up to one year.

Eligible projects must contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the alleviation of poverty and economic growth in one of our partner countries.

So far, grants have been awarded in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia for activities in relation to the following priority themes:

  • education
  • health
  • sustainable economic development
  • civic governance and society
  • food security
  • renewable energy
  • climate change
  • water

See details of the grants awarded from 2014 to 2017.

Under our International Development Strategy, we committed to continue to fund our Small Grants Programme. We will keep it under review so as to make any improvements deemed necessary, including possible changes to its geographic focus in line with the Strategy.

We opened our new Small Grants Programme for 2018 onwards on 2 September 2017. Project small grants are now open for our three sub-Saharan partner countries (Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda) only, reflecting the geographic focus in our Strategy; however, our capacity-strengthening small grants and feasibility study small grants are now open to organisations working in a much wider range of countries. Find more information and apply via our assessors' website, The Corra Foundation.