Should Scotland focus its international development work on a specific country or policy areas such as education and health? This is just one of the questions being posed by the Scottish Parliament’s Europe an and External Relations Committee.
The committee is seeking views on its inquiry into international development in Scotland.
The remit of the inquiry is to take a strategic overview of international development issues in Scotland . It will consider the role of a Scottish Government international development policy and how value can be added to the existing international development work in Scotland.
The committee’s convener, Malcolm Chisholm MSP, said:
"This inquiry is a real opportunity for the Committee, in consultation with the international development community in Scotland , to reflect on what works well and what could work more effectively in raising awareness of development issues and providing assistance to developing countries.”
The committee would like to hear from those in the private and public sectors, the voluntary sector, academic sector and all interested organisations and individuals.
It will consider the aims, objectives and content of a government international development policy as well as the roles of the private and public sectors and civil society in international development work.
Key questions to be considered by the committee include:
Should an international development policy have a geographical focus?
Should an international development policy have a thematic focus, such as on education, health, civil governance issues and, if so, how many and which themes should be included?
How should efforts be divided between raising awareness of international development issues within Scotland and focusing resources on granting project funding to NGOs to undertake projects in developing countries?
How should any Scottish Government international development policy be administered to ensure that it is efficient, accountable and transparent and meet agreed best practice standards?
How can Scotland develop innovative methods of developing an international development policy in order to raise awareness in Scotland, maximise the impact of project funding and ensure the sustainability of projects?
The closing date for the consultation is 1 February 2008.
The committee agreed to undertake an inquiry into international development issues at its meeting on 4 September 2007 and Members held a round table discussion with stakeholders to identify areas for inclusion in the remit on 2 October 2007.