Report and executive summary of the findings from the second survey of community planning officials in Scotland, conducted in 2018. It compares the results to those from the 2016 survey and offers an overview of key dynamics, challenges and accomplishments over those two years, with a particular focus on the Community Empowerment Act.

Quote saying “CPOs carry out their everyday work…at the interface of three crucial policy agendas: public service reform, social justice and community empowerment.”This report offers an overview of key dynamics, challenges and accomplishments from the perspective of community planning officials (CPOs) across the country through the comparative findings of the first two surveys of CPOs in Scotland, conducted in 2016 and 2018.

The timing of these two surveys is significant because it covers the first two years of implementation of the Community Empowerment Act, and the 2018 survey is one of the first pieces of research to capture some of the early impacts of this legislation on community planning practice.

The report summarises some of the key findings related to the CEA, community engagement, partnership work and evidence mobilisation, with particular attention to how the two surveys together create a fuller picture of CPOs as frontline policy workers.

The report has sections on:

    1. CPOs in the context of the Community Empowerment Act
    2. Methodology and the 2018 participants
    3. Understanding the CPOs workforce
    4. Understanding the work of CPOs
    5. Using evidence
    6. Understanding how CPPs work
    7. Community engagement in community planning
    8. Frameworks, policies and reforms affecting community planning
    9. Conclusions: Community Planning after the Community Empowerment Act

Based on the findings, the authors provide recommendations for government, community planning partnerships (CPPs), and support and evaluation agencies.

Download the publications

The first survey is also available as a report and an executive summary. It sheds light on the composition of this significant group of local public servants, their role, the work they undertake and the implications for community planning partnerships and community engagement.

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  • Dr Oliver Escobar is a Co-Director for What Works Scotland and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh (School of Social and Political Science).
  • Sarah Weakley is a former What Works Scotland research associate at the Universities of Edinburgh and is currently a research and impact acceleration officer at Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow.

Type of publication: Survey report

Date of publication: November 2018