Conference on engaging with research insights on what works in community empowerment and the implications for the future of policy and practice in Scotland.

The aims of this conference are to:

  • share learning and resources developed by What Works Scotland
  • foster connections between researchers, citizens, practitioners and policy workers
  • think together about what’s next for democratic innovation in Scotland.

The conference will focus on engaging with research insights into what works, and what does not, in community empowerment as well as discussing implications for the future of policy and practice in Scotland.

The full programme will follow soon and will be packed with interactive sessions (e.g. lightning talks, dialogue groups and reflective provocations).

More details

  • Date: Tuesday 6 November 2018, 9.45am – 4pm
  • Location: Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh

Attendance is open and free, but places are limited: please register on Eventbrite


Scotland has a long tradition of community action, engagement and participation. The Christie Commission and the COSLA Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy have placed community empowerment at the centre of public service reform. The What Works Scotland programme (2014-2018) has featured substantial research into these developments across the country and internationally.

Our research has explored:

  • participatory budgeting
  • community anchor organisations
  • community-led food aid
  • place-based approaches
  • national standards for community engagement
  • coproduction of services
  • deliberative participation
  • power inequalities
  • facilitative leadership
  • community councils
  • community planning
  • third sector interfaces
  • participatory governance

This is the first of three final conferences from What Works Scotland about the present and future of public service reform.