24 January 2017

In an era of killer soundbites how can researchers and policy-makers close the gap between complexity and simplicity?

In the world today, simple but wrong answers are preferred to complex and right answers. Policy-makers are often more interested in a good soundbite than a detailed and tailored understanding of a complex world. So… in this 'post-truth era', is complexity becoming a dirty word? Or is the dirty word 'post-truth'?

Here Dr Claire Bynner, Research Associate at What Works Scotland, shares some of the highlights from the Social Research Association’s annual conference* and discusses how we might bridge the gap between complexity and simplicity, drawing on examples from evaluation research.

18 January 2017

Getting evidence into action: how can we understand what we already know?

What Works Scotland Co-director Dr Sarah Morton writes about the processes involved in setting up an Evidence Bank to support public and voluntary sector partners in accessing existing research evidence to help to inform decision-making. 

Recently published in Evidence and Policy journal, she describes the work she has led at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships where she has been developing knowledge exchange (KE) over the last decade.  Sarah is also Co-director of the Centre.

9 January 2017

Messy collaboration

How we ensure that diversity flourishes in collaborations and partnerships?

What Works Scotland co-director Ken Gibb reflects on the argument of applied economist Tim Hartford in his new book on  creativity and resilience.

14 December 2016

From the policy page to practice: Taking Community Planning and a Better and Fairer Fife to 'the next level'

In this blog What Works Scotland research assistant Cleo Davies outlines the recent Fife Community Planning event, Making the change: delivering a better and fairer Fife on 17 November 2016 at the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre.

6 December 2016

Why place?

Prevention, performance, participation, partnership; the four pillars of the Christie Commission are now well-known. But what about ‘place’? 

Here What Works Scotland Research Associate Claire Bynner examines the role of place-based approaches, what ‘place’ offers to public service development and delivery, and also what it doesn’t.