This is an archived newsletter: please see the latest one on the Most recent newsletter page.

February 2017

Welcome to the first What Works Scotland newsletter of 2017.

We were delighted to start the year with an enlightening event – and great music – to launch our report on how the Centrestage theatre group undertakes dignified food provision with its local communities. We’re looking forward to sharing more informative and inspiring stories throughout this year.

Latest resources from What Works Scotland

Centrestage infographic‘Fun, Food, Folk’: The Centrestage approach to dignified food provision

Centrestage is a charity that uses food and the arts to engage people, helping to improve their life chances and (re)build communities. The programme helps people to access support, address underlying problems, build relationships and develop capacity for community action. Our report shows how Centrestage’s programme in North and East Ayrshire achieves impact, and draws lessons to inform policy and practice.

10 Key Questions - Beyond Action LearningExploring collaborative learning, research and action in public service reform: Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Change Fund Beyond Action Learning initiative

This report illustrates 10 key issues for the practice of collaborative and inquiring approaches to partnership working for health and social care integration. These emerged from the Beyond Action Learning project in Aberdeenshire, which used an ‘action learning set’ approach – which supports shared learning and problem solving – to suit local needs and policy aspirations for collaborative partnership working.

New blog posts

Messy collaboration

How we ensure that diversity flourishes in collaborations and partnerships? Professor Ken Gibb reflects on the arguments of applied economist Tim Hartford in his new book on creativity and resilience.

Getting evidence into action: how can we understand what we already know?

Dr Sarah Morton writes about the processes involved in setting up an Evidence Bank to support public and voluntary sector partners in accessing existing research evidence to help to inform decision-making.

In an era of killer sound-bites how can researchers and policy-makers close the gap between complexity and simplicity?

In this ‘post-truth era’, is complexity becoming a dirty word? Or is the dirty word ‘post-truth’? Dr Claire Bynner shares some highlights from the Social Research Association’s annual conference and discusses how we might bridge the gap between complexity and simplicity, drawing on examples from evaluation research.


New discussion paper on the Scottish Approach to evidence

A new discussion paper from Alliance for Useful Evidence and Carnegie UK Trust argues that Scotland has the potential to become a world leader in evidence-based participative policymaking. This links closely with our collaborative action research with local services and communities to identify and generate evidence that they can use to tackle local issues.


Research Assistant post

Do you want to contribute to work of What Works Scotland and the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change? We’re looking for a new research assistant with expert knowledge in the area of leadership and organisational development with a broad understanding of public service reform and their role in tackling social disadvantage. Closing date for applications is 12 February 2017.

Get more details and apply on

Sign up to the What Works Scotland newsletter