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. 

15 November 2016

Participation and representation in Scotland’s third sector interfaces – a new model?

What Works Scotland has been working with the third sector to develop a vision to re-imagine community planning in Scotland. 

Here Jane Cullingworth, a What Works Scotland PhD student, reports on how this process has contributed to a new model of third sector representation, now being piloted by Strive in East Lothian.  

2 November 2016

Making data meaningful in West Dunbartonshire

A What Works Scotland research project is examining how evidence is being used in West Dunbartonshire to make decisions, and how evidence could be made more useful for community planning partners and local communities. 

In this blog What Works Scotland research associate Anna Terje introduces the project and the background to it.

20 October 2016

What is the future of ‘doing good’ in the UK?

The Big Lottery Fund is hosting events across the UK to stimulate discussion on its recent report The Future of 'Doing Good' in the UK.  

Jane Cullingworth, a What Works Scotland PhD student, reports back on the Big Lottery Fund's recent think piece and an event that brought people together to talk about the future of 'doing good'.

12 October 2016

Time for change – a delegate’s response to Community-led Approaches to Reducing Poverty

The opportunity to discover more about community-led approaches to reducing poverty brought around 70 people to two What Works Scotland seminars in Clydebank and Dundee.

What did they think of the event and what thoughts and emotions did it provoke?  

We asked one of the attendees at the Clydebank session - Pam Dawson - to write a blog with her response to the event.

29 September 2016

Systems thinking: Reimagining public services to tackle inequality

This What Works Scotland event focused on helping people understand how institutions in society may perpetuate inequality but how systems thinking can give them a way to create a strategy that can change that in their local area.

Here Nick Bland, co-director of What Works Scotland, explains more about purpose of the event and what participants learned.

26 September 2016

Community-led Approaches to Reducing Poverty

What Works Scotland Co-Director, Ken Gibb reflects on the recent What Works Scotland event in Clydebank Town Hall – a workshop of about 40 people from the public and voluntary sectors, plus a few academics and councillors.  

The focus was on reviewing the evidence and practice concerning specifically community-led approaches to reducing poverty.

7 September 2016

Scotland and international experiences of scaling-up participatory budgeting

The Scottish Government has recently reiterated its support for participatory budgeting with a blog post by the Minister for Local Government and Housing which confirms a national support programme for local authorities and communities

An international conference on participatory budgeting will be taking place in Edinburgh on 20th and 21st October 2016.

So we thought this was a good time to ask Giovanni Allegretti, who talked about international experiences of participatory budgeting at a What Works Scotland event in June, to share his reflections on ‘scaling-up’ participatory budgeting and how Scotland can learn from, and contribute to, the international expansion of participatory democracy.

4 July 2016

"Challenge current practice and assumptions! Make waves!!" - Findings from a Collaborative Action Research learning event

What Works Scotland and Community Planning Partnerships put themselves under the spotlight at an event where participants shared their Collaborative Action Research experiences from across Scotland, and examined this way of working.

Here Richard Brunner, Research Associate at What Works Scotland, highlights the findings.

24 May 2016

The 2016 Alliance Conference and the Politics of Possibility

On 23rd May, The Alliance - the national third sector intermediary for health and social care organisations in Scotland, held its annual conference, and at the same time celebrated its 10th birthday.

In this blog, Claire Bynner, Research Associate for What Works Scotland, reflects on the people at the event, their activism, and the politics of possibility.

9 May 2016

What key Evidence to Action resources are available for public service reform?

Karen Seditas from What Works Scotland offers an overview of What Works Scotland knowledge partners’ resources for Evidence to Action. 

Co-production: I believe in Unicorns after all, they are Scotland’s National animal!

A guest blog by Hilda Campbell from COPE Scotland, who was our ‘keynote reader’ at the Scottish launch of Catherine Durose’s new book Designing Public Policy for Co-production: Theory, practice and change

29 April 2016

A backstage pass: Operation Modulus and the case study approach

What Works Scotland recently published an in-depth case study. People have asked ‘why do a case study?’ and ‘what can others learn from what happened in one local area?’

In this blog, What Works Scotland Research Associate, Richard Brunner tells you what we think.

16 March 2016

Health and Social Care Integration: seeking the ‘space’ and commitment to support complex local partnership-working

What Works Scotland Research Associate, James Henderson reflects on developments in Health and Social Care Integration.

The Health and Social Care Benchmarking Network's (HSCBN) national conference on 3 December (2015) provided a timely opportunity to learn more about developments in health and social care integration. Timely, in part, because of the publication on that same day of Audit Scotland’s progress report on health and social care integration and its challenges across Scotland’s 31 prospective Integrated Joint Boards. And, in part, for me as a researcher working within What Works Scotland in looking to understand those same challenges from the perspective of the people ‘doing the work’.

26 January 2016

Understanding and utilising social security sanctions data at the local level

As part of the collaborative action research work taking place with Fife CPP, a small sub-group from the Welfare Reform Partnership Innovation Team (PIT) got together on Monday 18 January 2016 to interrogate the sanctions data available via the Department of Work and Pensions' Stat-Xplore database

The Welfare Reform PIT is undertaking a collaborative inquiry exploring how better information and data sharing can improve services and support arrangements for people in Kirkcaldy affected by changes to the social security system. The Stat-Xplore sub-group will feed back the learning and suggestions for what changes can be introduced.

In this blog Hayley Bennett from What Works Scotland, Coryn Barclay (Policy coordinator) and Gary Smith (Partnership analyst) from Fife Council reflect on the learning from this session.

12 January 2016

Collaboration, Control and Choice in a Person Centred Scotland


Alex Stobart works for Mydex Community Interest Company, a social enterprise registered in Scotland. Mydex provides citizens with personal data stores and services - essential components of control and choice in a person-centred ecosystem.

2016 offers opportunities for citizens and communities to design system conditions and points of leverage with a person-centred Scotland.