An introduction to What Works Scotland’s lessons for public service reform in Scotland, published at the conclusion of the four-year programme.

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What Works Scotland: Key messages about public service reform in Scotland (PDF)

Context and background

At the start of our four-year programme there was a broad consensus on the emergent Scottish model of public service reform and on the role of the recommendations of the Christie Commission. However, a common criticism is that implementation has been limited and patchy. Here we aim to help address that gap by sharing summaries of what we have learnt around what works, and what does not, in reforming Scotland’s public services.

See more about the context and background

Key findings

The key findings reflect the eight themes which have emerged though our research programme. The key findings succinctly summarise the current progress in developing and implementing the concepts within each theme.

See the key findings


We have grouped the learning points drawn from across cases and between projects into eight themes. These theme pages offer a selection of published findings, with a focus on key research insights, as well as implications for policy and practice:

  1. Participation
  2. Partnership
  3. Governance
  4. Workforce
  5. Leadership
  6. Prevention
  7. Place
  8. Evidence