12 Other issues (Q22)
12.1 A final consultation question gave respondents the opportunity to comment on matters not covered elsewhere in the consultation paper and accompanying questionnaire. It was noted that the Scottish Government was particularly interested in hearing views on 'any issues which might arise in relation to ensuring a refreshed international development policy that takes forward the Scottish Government's commitment to the Global Goals through a global development contribution that is focused, targeted and impactful':
Question 22: Please provide any views on any other issues that we have not otherwise covered in this consultation paper, and on which you would like to give your views.
12.2 Respondents often used the space provided by this question to reinforce or summarise the main points of their response to preceding questions, particularly in relation to their general overall views on the Scottish Government's ambitions in relation to its International Development Fund. (To some extent, this reflects the fact that there was no space for comments at Question 1.)
12.3 Thus, many of the points made in response to Question 22 have been covered in relation to preceding questions and are not presented again here in any detail.
12.4 In general, respondents voiced:
- Support for the Scottish Government's broad and distinctive approach, based on collaboration, partnership working, engagement with civic society - at home and in partner countries
- Praise for the four networks core-funded by the Scottish Government which were seen to be an important element in the overall approach; there were calls for the networks ( NIDOS in particular) to take a greater role in activities such as coordination, facilitating collaboration, and knowledge exchange
- Support for a continued relationship with Malawi, and for the approach taken in working with Malawi - there was also a suggestion that the Scottish Government might take on a wider role in coordinating and facilitating all development activities in Malawi.
12.5 By and large, respondents wished the Government to continue pursuing this broad approach.
12.6 Respondents also took the opportunity to reiterate their broad support for the proposal to introduce greater focus to the Government's programme, particularly with regard to geographic focus, or to restate reservations about a narrowing of the thematic focus of the programme.
12.7 Respondents also highlighted a number of overarching issues as being particularly important to progressing the Government's international development agenda:
- Respondents restated calls for the Government to take full cognisance of the Global Goals in its work, and to adopt a cross-policy, holistic approach to both domestic and international policy activity. Some argued that responsibility for work related to the Global Goals should not rest solely with the international development policy team. There was, however, a less common - and not entirely contradictory - view that the Government should not lose sight of the importance of addressing poverty and hunger through simple focused initiatives and projects.
- Respondents welcomed the commitment shown to international development work and the Global Goals in Scotland to date, but emphasised the importance of these issues continuing to have a high profile. Respondents were keen for work to be led by a dedicated Minister based in the First Minister's office. They also argued for 'mainstreaming' across policy areas, for development of an action plan, for monitoring and reporting, and for the Global Goals to be incorporated into the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework. There were also calls for the international development budget to be increased or index linked.
- The need to improve public awareness and understanding of international development work, and its links with individual actions and domestic policy was noted. Respondents wished to see a wide a variety of channels and activities used in engaging the general public and civic society on this issue. They also wished to see the continued development of global citizenship education and education for sustainability in schools. This was seen as important in building public support for government level international development work.
12.8 There were also a small number of comments on two further issues:
- Terminology: There was a preference for the term 'Sustainable Development Goals' rather than 'Global Goals' to be used.
- Continued engagement: A range of organisational respondents drew attention to their own interests and work, to related ongoing initiatives, and to published reports, and indicated a willingness to be involved in further discussions and collaborative activity with the Scottish Government with regard to progressing the international development / PCD / Global Goals agendas.
12.9 In addition, there was further debate on the number and scale of projects which should be funded. Some favoured focusing on a smaller number of projects, including large-scale high profile projects which might increase visibility; others favoured diversity achieved through multiple small projects.
12.10 Finally, a few respondents commented on the consultation process or paper. These comments have been analysed along with responses to the full set of evaluation questions which formed part of the online questionnaire and the findings from this analysis are presented at Annex 6.