The problem we are looking at is the lack of accessibility for the (central) Leadership in Action projects
Why is this issue the most important?
It's important to be inclusive towards the scholars as well as the community we help. If a person cannot be included in a project then it is unlikely to be challenging them in the right way. People need to feel comfortable and supported in their new environment; it's the idea of practising what you preach. Everyone should be given the same opportunity to experience their Laidlaw Scholarship to the full.
What would the perfect Leadership in Action project look like?
Firstly, the accessibility needs and skills of every scholar needs to be assessed. By this, we mean that scholars should be listened to when they disclose their access needs and LiAs should be respected and accommodated. The issues of Human Rights, safety, security, and legal compliance should be thoroughly researched before and during LiAs.
Secondly, thorough supervision is vital to the success of an LiA. A supervisor should:
1. Provide welfare support
2. Provide technical project support
3. Provide local, contextual, and cultural guidance
Thirdly, the necessity to travel abroad should be removed and instead broaden the requirement to moving to a new environment instead. Therefore, it would make sense to provide more UK-based opportunities to utilise the local expertise of scholars and address the needs of the local community. These can be more relevant to the scholars.
Fourthly, we need to make sure that LiAs are financial accessibility for all scholars. This should be implemented in the following ways:
1. Provide transparent outline of additional costs for the LiAs
2. Provide a fund for additional costs
3. Provide opportunity to rent equipment instead of buying new and expensive equipment.
Finally, the definition leadership should allow to explore multiple facets of leadership to foster discovery of personal leadership definition and identity.
We also need to make sure that all projects are sustainable and the environmental impacts of LiAs.
This should be implemented across the Foundation. It is much easier to implement these to existing projects rather than creating new projects.