Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee
The Scottish Government is reviewing the National Outcomes, its broad policy aims which are a key aspect of the National Performance Framework (NPF). It must consult the Parliament on any proposed changes arising from that review.
It is expected to publish its proposed changes toward the end of 2023.
In anticipation of that review, and following the Inquiry into the Scottish Governments international work which the Committee undertook and reported on in April 2022, we will focus our consideration on the current National Outcomes and Indicators relating to international policy.
Our 2022 report recommended that this international work “should link to and flow from the National Performance Framework, be at the heart of the Scotland Government’s approach to external affairs, and provide a foundation for all other relevant frameworks, strategies and policy documents in that sphere, including… the work of (and plans for any further) international offices”.
The current National Outcome under the International heading is—
- We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally
To inform consideration of any changes that may arise from the review, the Committee is holding a short inquiry into whether the current National Outcomes and Indicators aligned to the Scottish Government’s international work are appropriate. The inquiry will allow the committee to consider—
- How the Scottish Government’s international work should be evaluated and what measurable outcomes could be developed?
- What is the intended impact of diplomacy and soft power? And how could this be measured?
- What economic related outcomes and targets are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of external affairs policies from that perspective?
- How should the National Outcomes inform the work of the Scottish Government’s international offices and how could this be evaluated?
The areas on which the Committee will take evidence include—
- An overview of the Scottish Government’s international work in relation to the National Outcomes and Indicators
- A focus on how trade and culture are promoted
- A look at how Ireland measures and evaluates the impact of its international work
We will feed in to the work of the lead committee for parliamentary scrutiny of the proposed revisions of National Outcomes and highlight our findings to the Scottish Government.