This report examines how the approach and learning from a successful violence and anti-social behaviour intervention has spread to two other communities. The report shows how the distinct characteristics of the Operation Modulus approach support the principles and practice of public service reform.


This research builds on the original case study of Operation Modulus, a successful violence and anti-social behaviour intervention targeted at a gang of young people in the Gorbals area of Glasgow.

This case study examines how the approach and learning from the original Operation Modulus has been spread to two additional communities in Glasgow: Castlefern and Govan.

The goal of both reports is to show how the principles of public service reform as highlighted by the Christie Commission can be operationalised.

The success of Operation Modulus as an approach provides learning for statutory services and third sector organisations working collaboratively and co-productively in line with the principles of Christie. It also indicates the potential for prevention in public service reform.

Operation Modulus provides a clear, successful and practical approach to designing services for and with the community. The approach and its underlying philosophy is an exemplar of public service reform in practice, benefiting the whole community.List of seven insights for public service rerform from Operation Modulus. They are: 1. Co-production requires time, focus, flexibility and targeted coordination of existing resources 2.A shared commitment to work with the beneficiary group as asset-holders requires individual leadership and commitment 3.The provision of desired and meaningful opportunities maximises the success 4.Co-production builds trust and can lay the groundwork for prevention 5.An anchor organisation can help to maximise impact 6.Leadership may come from outside traditional public services 7.Mechanisms are needed to share learning across communities

It also examines how co-production can be spread and demonstrates that spread of co-production is about adapting the process and the approach as opposed to replicating a programme.

The study identifies five distinct characteristics of the Operation Modulus approach:

  1. targeted recruitment
  2. co-production
  3. active and flexible partnership
  4. engaged delivery
  5. multi-level outcomes

These are underpinned by a shared commitment to working with the assets of the beneficiary group.

It also identifies seven wider insights into public service reform in practice. These are applicable to practitioners in the public or third sectors, and policymakers across the public services.

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More details

Authors: Jane Cullingworth, Richard Brunner and Nicholas Watson

Type of publication: Case study

Date of publication: 25 June 2018

Related resources

Co-production and Public Service Reform event

Seminar which looked at the role of co-production, its role in reforming public services and how co-production can best be used to help develop sustainable and effective public services, which included a presentation about Operation Modulus. Part of Co-production Week Scotland 2017.

December 2017

Operation Modulus: putting Christie into practice in the Gorbals

Case study of Operation Modulus, an innovative violence and anti-social behaviour intervention aimed at a gang of young people. It shows how partnership, co-production and an outcome-focus can be successfully put into practice, and demonstrates that leadership is an additional essential element of successfully ‘operationalising Christie’.

March 2016

Creating Successful Partnerships – Resources package

A collection of presentations and resources from a What Works Scotland seminar about Partnership including a presentation by Paul Blackwood about operation Modulus

December 2015