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August 2017

We have a focus on leadership this month, with two new reports and a blog looking at the future of public service leadership in the context of collaborative service design and provision. We are also pleased to be able to share that What Works Scotland will now continue until December 2018. We look forward to continuing dialogue and collaboration with you, your colleagues and communities over the forthcoming year.

Latest resources from What Works Scotland


What Works Scotland funded to spread and embed learning

Coloured strings interwoven and some strands twisted togetherWhat Works Scotland is delighted to announce that we have secured funding for an extra year, which will allow us to consolidate and further spread the learning that we have learnt from our collaborations with organisations and individuals from across the public sector in Scotland. During the forthcoming year we will place particular emphasis on developing evidence-informed learning to challenge existing inequalities, with a focus on outcomes.

The key issues for this work will be: partnerships and collaborative working, outcomes and evaluation, building community capacity, prevention, leadership.

What Works Scotland co-director becomes new Director of Policy Scotland

What Works Scotland co-director Professor Chris Chapman is taking on a new role as Director of Policy Scotland. Policy Scotland aims to give new public policy ideas wider exposure, and foster co-operations between academics, practitioners and policymakers to flesh out new initiatives, test the effectiveness of interventions, generate better evidence and engage a wide variety of audiences.

International advisers call for culture of collaboration in Scottish education

The initial report from the First Minister of Scotland’s International Council of Educational Advisors (ICEA), has highlighted the need to focus on cultural change and capacity-building as well as structural reform. The ICEA believes the system needs to focus on building stronger collaboration and partnerships.

Publications and resources

Evaluation of Police and Fire reform – year 2

The second Evaluation of Police and Fire Reform by What Works Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and ScotCen Social Research has been published by the Scottish Government. The report includes local case studies with the voices of those experiencing reform ‘on the ground’, explores how national changes are playing out at a local level and examines the extent to which different contexts play a part in facilitating (or hindering) the objectives of reform.

Public service reform and participatory budgeting: How can Scotland learn from international evidence?

PBscreenshotAs participatory budgeting continues to grow in Scotland, this film documents how and what community planning partners from Fife and Glasgow – two of What Works Scotland’s case sites – learnt about implementing participatory budgeting from a study trip to Paris, a European leader in mainstreaming PB.



Outcomes-based Approaches to Public Service Reform: Event Report

This event report summarises the key messages from the presentations and captures the learning and issues raised during the discussion. It concludes with a summary of feedback about the event from participants.

Pioneering Collaborative Leadership: A Facilitated Approach for Learning in Action

Research report and summary about Pioneering Collaborative Leadership, an experimental initiative testing an innovative development approach for public service leaders in Scotland. Published in July 2017, it covers its first 18 months and includes a case study from the East Lothian Partnership.

What Works in Public Service Leadership: Exploring the Potential

This literature review aims to provide an understanding of the forms of leadership necessary for the future of Scottish public services. It presents an overview of key concepts that underpin collaborative leadership in public service settings and reflects on emerging themes that support change.


How can place-based approaches be used in rural Scotland?

SheeponMullcroppedA place-based approach has become more prominent in Scottish policymaking in the last few years, particularly as a result of the recommendations of the Christie Commission on the delivery of public services and the Community Empowerment Act. But what does this mean for Scotland’s rural areas? Our guest blogger Jane Atterton, Manager and Policy Researcher at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) discusses the implications.


Meeting change-makers: connecting research and the ‘real world’

What Works Scotland PhD researcher Kirsty Deacon writes about undertaking an internship with the Scottish Government where she researched the role of u.lab, an online course for developing skills around collaboration and co-production, in supporting Scotland’s public service change-makers.

What Works Scotland events

Exploring the Future of Public Service Leadership

  • Tuesday 10 October 2017, afternoon
  • Glasgow

The Scottish Approach to public service reform presents significant challenges to leadership and change management within public services. The focus on co-production, collaboration and working across professional boundaries requires forms of leadership that move beyond traditional hierarchies, notions of power and position based on assumptions of leadership and followership. This seminar will facilitate discussions to rethink the future of public service leadership in Scotland.

Please hold the date – more information will be available soon.

We have two events coming up focused on ways to address child poverty and inequality. Both are currently sold out but you can join the waiting lists.

Preventing and mitigating child poverty: Thursday 31 August 2017, Edinburgh

Poverty, schools and inequality: reducing the cost of the school day: Friday 29 September 2017, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian

Both events have been organised by What Works Scotland and the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.

Resources, opportunities and events from other organisations


The Glasgow Centre for Population Health and NHS Health Scotland have collaborated to create a short animation about power as a health and social justice issue, to support people working in the public and third sectors, and increase understanding of the importance of power in shaping social and health inequalities.


The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is looking for two new board members and six new policy committee members, to help shape the future of SCVO and the third sector. Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 29 September 2017.

IRISS is looking for partners across Scotland who want to explore what it means to experience compassion and human rights in professional care relationships. This will be part of IRISS’s work to test the new Standards for Health and Social Care in practice and build an evidence base that bridges the new standards with practice in a variety of settings.

The Scottish Community Development Centre is seeking comments on the draft vision statement for co-production in Scotland. This was created from vision statements from across the country, which highlighted how and where co-production is happening, and what participants wanted co-production to achieve in the future.


The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability is holding Building Bridges from Policy to Practice, a conference about the challenges and opportunities of adopting asset-based approaches in supporting people with learning disabilities, on 7 Sept in Perth. The conference will focus on themes of supporting people with learning disabilities to fully participate in communities and hear from local projects.

Are you a public service facilitator, working on complex, cross sector issues? The new Glasgow group of the Public Service Facilitation Network will be meeting for the first time on 26 October , supported by Workforce Scotland. The next meeting of the Edinburgh Group is on 27 September.

The 2017 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference takes place in Nottingham on 7-8 September. It is an interdisciplinary research conference for all those with an interest in voluntary organisations and volunteering, organised by VSSN, NCVO and the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR).

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is leading a consultation on the role of the Scottish Health Council. There are public events during September and an online questionnaire – deadline 20 October 2017.

Newsletter update

We shall soon start using an online newsletter manager for the What Works Scotland newsletter. We’ll transfer your email address so don’t need to do anything and you’ll just continue to receive the newsletter as usual. The newsletter manager will adhere to Privacy Shield data protection standards and your details will not be shared with anyone else. But if you would prefer not to have your email address transferred, please contact us at what by 22 September 2017 so we can ensure you continue to get the newsletter in the current format.

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