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What’s next for the Alliance?

I asked the artificial intelligence chatbot ‘ChatGPT’ to write a blog about the Alliance’s key themes for the year. This isn’t it!*

ChatGPT assumed our themes would be innovation, collaboration and making a positive impact. Of course we’re keen on those themes too, but read on to discover what the Alliance will be focusing on in 2023!

I’ll start with decolonisation, which isn’t so much of a theme, but, hopefully, a deeply embedded approach that weaves through all of our work. We will continue to advocate for the decolonisation of global sustainable development and apply an anti-racist, decolonised lens to our work. In practical terms this means participation from those in the global south in as much of our work as possible, particularly in discussion forums and events. We’re also continuing our work on inclusive language and look forward to sharing our process with you in a few months, in the hope that other members may undertake similar reflections. In October we’ll be working with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights on a Black History Month event to delve more deeply into some of the issues facing our sector. 

Our four main themes for 2023 are: shifting the power, wellbeing & sustainable development, climate justice and global citizenship.

‘Shifting the power’ clearly chimes with the decolonisation agenda, and we’ll be looking more at locally-led development and how we can support the transformation of our sector. As well as training sessions for members, we’ll be pushing for systemic change with ongoing dialogues with politicians and decision-makers. We’ll be hosting round table meetings with Scottish Government Minister Neil Gray and the new shadow Westminster SNP spokesperson, Brendan O’Hara, where we will continue to raise the points made in our global solidarity strategy paper

Next month, we will hold a peer learning event on how Scottish organisations can better work with local evaluators and teams work to improve and decolonise monitoring and evaluation frameworks for cross-border programming. This is in follow-up to our November workshop, which explored colonial contexts of M&E, and the importance of understanding the assumptions built into our practices. 

In March, our Safeguarding in Partnership workshop will create space to explore how we can work with local actors to develop high standards of safeguarding practice, to ensure that risk, harm and vulnerability are jointly defined and mitigated, and to maintain principles of equitable partnership.  

Climate justice remains an important issue for our members. We’re pleased to be part of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Coalition and will be encouraging the Scottish Government to continue to show leadership in this area. We’ll be looking at how the new loss and damage fund will be implemented and how this interacts with existing humanitarian and development spending. 

In 2022 we began some important work on global citizenship which we’ll be developing this year. We’ve convened a working group, centring minority and diaspora voices, to identify what global citizenship means; to promote the concept of global citizenship to the wider public; and to encourage the Scottish Government to honour its commitment to being a good global citizen. 

Very much connected to these themes is our ongoing work on wellbeing and sustainable development. We’ll be continuing to explore what a government bill could look like and how legislation can mean that decision-making and budgeting is driven by the concepts of wellbeing and sustainable development. A robust bill and a commissioner with sufficient powers could drive transformational change in the way public bodies plan and make decisions, and we’re keen to ensure that global responsibilities are embedded in the bill. 

Our themes can’t drive the landscape in which we find ourselves, and much as we might want to focus on these, we also understand that other factors are impacting our members and the work we can do as a sector. That’s why our Spring conference will be considering the economic crisis and how we should respond. We’ll also look at the changing political landscape and consider the role of political leadership in driving change. Of course within this discussion we can draw from our themes, most notably, shifting the power. In a challenging economic landscape, where funding models are being revisited, can we use the opportunity to drive forward a commitment to locally led development? We hope you’ll join us on March 16th to share your thoughts. 

And the last factor driving our work is you. We want all of our activities to be driven by members. These themes have been drawn from member surveys, but we now want active member participation to take these forward.

Would you be interested in leading (or joining) a working group on any of these themes? Perhaps you’d like to contribute to online discussions on our hub? Or perhaps you’d like to run training or knowledge-sharing sessions?

If you’re interested in getting involved in any way at all, please drop us a line:    

*The ChatGPT version: It’s start of a new year, and here at [Organization], we’re ready to take on 2023 with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm. In the spirit of fresh beginnings, we’ve identified our organizational themes for the year that will help focus our efforts and guide our work. This year, we’re committed to cultivating a culture of collaboration, setting ambitious goals and pushing ourselves to achieve greater results. We believe that working together and pooling our strengths and expertise will help us to achieve our shared objectives faster and better. Innovation is another key theme for us this year. We’re looking to break out of the mold and take a fresh approach to our work. We’re open to trying new methods, exploring new ideas, and taking risks to push ourselves and our organization to the next level. Finally, we’re also focused on making a positive impact in our communities. We’re determined to use our resources to help those in need and to make a difference in people’s lives. 2023 is an exciting year for us, and we’re looking forward to making the most of it. 

NB: blog updated 15th February replacing human rights with wellbeing & sustainable development

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