Report of an event held in December 2015 to explore evidence about effective partnership working with those working in and with public services.


Partnership working is central to the public services reform agenda across the UK and beyond, yet it can be difficult to create and sustain effective partnerships. Community planning partnerships working with What Works Scotland identified partnership working as a key issue at the heart of public service reform.

What Works Scotland’s Evidence Bank produced a review of research and other evidence about partnership working – called Partnership working in UK public services in response to the need to inform the development of practice in this area. It highlighted findings and high-level messages to help thinking and prompt discussion about how to improve partnerships.

What Works Scotland held a day-long event in Edinburgh on December 3rd 2015 to launch the review and explore the evidence on partnership working with those working in and with public services. The event shared key findings and stimulated discussion and reflection over implications of the findings for partnerships delivering public services.

What Works Scotland partners and a wide range of other stakeholders explored the evidence about effective partnership working, including how it relates to their own setting and gathered experiences and reflections.

The event was chaired by Steven Marwick, Director of Evaluation Support Scotland, and attended by over 60 delegates working in and with partnerships to deliver public services, including Community Planning Partnerships, health and social care partnerships, local authorities, the third sector, policy makers and influencers.

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Authors: Dr Ailsa Cook, Director of Outcome Focus and Karen Seditas, formerly with the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.

Date of publication: March 2016
Type of publication: Event report