What Works Scotland is using a variety of approaches in Glasgow to grow the capacity to capture evidence and use it for insight and decision-making.
What Works Scotland is working on a number of research initiatives with different partners in Glasgow Community Planning Partnership (CPP) including the extensive, long-term initiative Thriving Places.
These projects use a variety of research approaches. For some we have used the collaborative action research approach.
For other projects we have used alternative methods to promote the use of evidence, and have produced an evaluability assessment, an evaluation report and a case study.
Collaborative action research
What Works Scotland research associate Richard Brunner, at the University of Glasgow, is leading the CAR work with Glasgow CPP through the following projects.
Generating case study evidence
The Case Study Development Group is a collaborative learning programme through which a group of officers could improve their skills in capturing Thriving Places outcomes using case study evidence.
The aim was for participants to conduct one or more case studies related to their own work in Thriving Places. This could evidence partnership working, community engagement, co-production, use of assets and more. The programme sought to develop the research skills of the participants and contribute evidence to each participating Thriving Place.
Evaluating participatory budgeting
With the support of What Works Scotland, the CPP partners developed a framework for evaluating the processes and outcomes of participatory budgeting.
This work generated a bespoke PB evaluation toolkit for Glasgow, which is now available for use and will be adapted and updated as necessary, building on the experiences of PB groups in Glasgow.
- Download Glasgow’s Participatory Budgeting Evaluation Toolkit
- See What Works Scotland’s insights into evaluating the impact of participatory budgeting
As part of the project the Group visited Paris, alongside representatives from Fife CPP, to draw on international learning.
- See the film about the Group’s visit Public service reform and participatory budgeting: How can Scotland learn from international evidence?
- See Group members’ insights in three blog posts about the study trip
Evaluability Assessment of Thriving Places principles and outcomes
In 2016 What Works Scotland supported CPP leaders and practitioners in Glasgow through an Evaluability Assessment process to help the CPP with its evaluation of Thriving Places principles and outcomes. The process included Peter Craig, University of Glasgow, who is the What Works Scotland lead on data and evaluation.
An evaluability assessment is a collaborative mechanism that enabled the CPP partners to develop and clarify the ‘theory of change’ that underpins Thriving Places. Now it is completed, the CPP has a unified ‘theory of change’ for officers to use and a recommendation for evaluation.
Collaborative dissertations in Thriving Places
What Works Scotland has innovated a collaborative dissertation programme for health and social science Masters students. This has boosted connections between the University of Glasgow and the city’s East End and enhanced the evidence base in North East Glasgow’s Thriving Places areas.
What Works Scotland and our CPP partners from Thriving Places co-produced introductory seminars in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for Masters students interested in doing fieldwork in Thriving Places – some of the areas of highest deprivation in the city. At the seminars students could find out about Thriving Places and the collaborative dissertation opportunities and talk informally with the workers.
One collaborative dissertation was conducted in 2016 and five in 2017, each supervised by a University of Glasgow academic. Each student has also produced a lay summary of their research findings for use by Thriving Places and their host organisations.
Supporting community consultation
In 2015 What Works Scotland supported CPP partners in Parkhead and Dalmarnock Thriving Place to conduct and analyse a community consultation to inform the Thriving Places Action Plan.
Breakfast Club evaluation
In Parkhead and Dalmarnock, during 2015 to 2016, What Works Scotland collaborated on an evaluation on a primary school Breakfast Club. This has led to a new project involving the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health focused on the concept of Children’s Neighbourhoods.
Operation Modulus case study
In Gorbals Thriving Place, What Works Scotland produced a case study of Operation Modulus, a gang violence reduction initiative demonstrating leadership, partnership and co-production in an area-based context. It has been published to inform other Glasgow CPP partners and public services Scotland-wide that are working to implement the principles of the Christie Commission.
A follow-up study on the implementation of Operation Modulus in Govan and Castlefern is currently under way.
Discover more about our approach to collaborative action research and the learning that is emerging from our work in multi-agency, multi-practitioner public service environments including Glasgow.
A working paper sharing the findings from the What Works Scotland programme of collaborative action research (CAR). The paper highlights learnings and insights that the researchers gained from facilitating CAR over three years (2015-2017) in the four community planning partnerships. The findings demonstrate that CAR has the potential to contribute to developing the practices of collaborative governance – partnership, participation, performance and prevention – by constructively and critically engaging with current policy and practice expectations.