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

May 2017

We were delighted to be able to publish short series of blogs on asset-based community development during April. Also on the blog, find out more about our recent facilitative leadership training.

Our outcomes-based approaches seminar last month was very popular. If you missed it, resources from this and other recent event are now online. And we have more events planned for June; hope to see you at one of these!

What Works Scotland events

What Works in Economic Regeneration

Tuesday, 13 June 2017, Glasgow

This event launches a What Works Scotland report asking what works in place-based economic regeneration in Scotland. Alan McGregor from the Training and Employment Research Unit at the University of Glasgow and Ken Gibb from What Works Scotland will give a presentation about the report. We’ll also see three case studies of contemporary regeneration in Scotland presented by SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum.

Book launch – The People’s Verdict: Adding Informed Citizen Voices to Public Decision-Making

15 June 2017, Edinburgh

Cover of The People's Verdict book

Claudia Chwalisz will present the key findings from The People’s Verdict, a study of 50 long-form deliberative processes, where randomly selected citizens played key roles in decision-making. She makes the case that adding informed citizen voices to the heart of public decision-making leads to more effective policies. The session will include opportunities for participants to discuss the book’s findings and the role that Scotland can play in advancing democratic innovation.


People, Prejudice and Planning: Community-based responses to promoting equality and tackling hate

20 June 2017, Glasgow

This event will look at the experiences of community-based projects working locally on combating prejudice. It will reflect on experience of doing this work and explore the lessons being learnt about how to support it. It’s aimed at practitioners from the equalities and community development sector, academics with an interest in the issue, community planning partnerships and others in policy roles. The session will inform the final draft of a joint publication between the Scottish Community Development Centre and What Works Scotland on learning generated by the ScoTTS action research process.

Latest resources from What Works Scotland

Thriving Places case studies – Glasgow Community Planning Partnership

As part of our collaborative work with Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, practitioners in the Thriving Places initiative have produced two case studies:

Three members of the Thriving Places Case Study Development group are work

  • Owning the Process: Taking a ‘Thriving Places’ Approach to Asset Mapping by Alistair Mitchell, Community Connector from Ruchill & Possilpark Thriving Place
  • Avoiding Short-Circuits: Taking a ‘Thriving Places’ Approach to Consultation by Anthony Morrow, Community Development Officer for Sanctuary H.A in the Priesthill & Househillwood Thriving Place

We’ve also documented how the Case Study group worked on the process to create the case studies.

Read about generating case study evidence and get the Thriving Places case studies

Outcomes Based Approaches in Public Service Reform

This position paper by Dr Ailsa Cook for What Works Scotland explores the concept of outcomes and their history; a concept at the centre of efforts to improve public services in Scotland and elsewhere. A focus on outcomes has been an integral part of what has come to be known as the Scottish Approach to public service reform.

Read and download the Outcomes Based Approaches in Public Service Reform report


New centre for UK housing evidence set up by What Works Scotland Co-director

What Works Scotland co-director Ken Gibb, is setting up a new UK-wide collaborative research centre focused on using evidence to influence future housing policy. He will be the Principal Investigator and Director of CaCHE – the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. It will carry out research into the UK’s housing system and housing market, provide robust evidence to inform housing policy and practice, and will bring together a wide range of stakeholders with the goal of tackling housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level.

New project on how communities receive offenders ‘coming home’ after punishment

What Works Scotland co-director Oliver Escobar is contributing his expertise in participative and deliberative democracy to a new project that is challenging views of offender rehabilitation. The collaborative action research project is called Coming Home has been set up by Distant Voices, a partnership between Vox Liminis and the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research.

Latest blog posts

Facilitative Leadership: Involving citizens and communities in local decision-making

A new era of community participation in local democracy requires public services staff to learn new skills for collaborative engagement. In this blog post What Works Scotland Research Associate Claire Bynner describes our project to create a training course that would develop and cascade skills in facilitative leadership.

Catch up on our short series focussed on asset-based community development: you can get all three posts on the What Works Scotland blog or see each one here:

Past events

See the presentations and resources from our most recent events – everything is on the website for you to read and download.

This seminar explored the place of outcomes-based approaches within public service reform in Scotland and their utility in the process of service reform. Get the position paper and the presentations by Dr Ailsa Cook; Dr Emma Miller from Strathclyde University; Steven Marwick, Director of Evaluation Support Scotland; and Tim Kendrick from Fife Community Planning Partnership.


Studentships and vacancies at the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence

CaCHE is a consortium of nine universities and four non-academic professional bodies in a major new research programme examining the UK’s housing system, led by the University of Glasgow.

CaCHe has two Glasgow-based vacancies (closing date: 24 May 2017):

  • Business Manager
  • Communications and Engagement Officer

Two PhD studentships are available (closing date: 9 June 2017):

  • Predictive Analytics, Improved Outcomes & Housing Policy & Practice
  • Why Does Deprivation Endure? Biographies of Persistent Enclaves and their Residents PhD Scholarship

Find out more, and apply, on the University of Glasgow website

Evaluation Support Scotland trustees

Closing date: 29 May 2017

Evaluation Support Scotland is seeking new trustees to join its board. ESS is looking for people who have passion for evaluation and have a few hours to spare every month, and welcomes applications from people who would bring diversity to our board. Trustees are unpaid.

The closing date is 29 May 2017. For more information and to apply please download the download the application pack.

Events and resources from other organisations


  • The Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow University is holding a lecture by global health researcher Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram about the capabilities approach and how it can be extended to health and public health. Chaired by What Works Scotland Research Associate Dr Richard Brunner, the lecture takes place in Glasgow on 25 May 2017. Register for your free place on Eventbrite
  • A two-day training event about working in complexity, led by facilitators Brongah Gallagher and Chris Corrigan, aims to introduce people involved with non-profit and community groups to complexity science, the Cynefin framework, and some practices and tools to better work in a complex space. Please note that there is a charge for this event. Taking place on 15 and 16 June in Govan, Glasgow.
  • Evaluation Support Scotland is running a series of three workshops during 2017 and early 2018 on focusing on outcomes and indicators, evaluation methods and plans, and analysing and reporting on outcomes.
  • SURF is running a series of free half-day workshops during May and June focusing different aspects of regeneration.


  • SOLACE Scotland and the Improvement Service have launched the Local Government Innovation Exchange. The site contains case studies of innovative projects and approaches to service delivery in Scottish local authorities which show how the projects have improved outcomes for local people, reduced costs or improved efficiency.
  • The CLD Standards Council Scotland has published a free book about the key strands of changes in policy and delivery of community learning and development. Influencing Change: CLD in Scotland, 2001-2015 can be downloaded as an e-book or PDF
  • IRISS has published a short summary of The View from Here, a project which explores the impact of care and support and shares frontline experiences of providing support, specifically focusing on the emotional impact of caring. The creative expressions from the project – songs, poems and portraits from practitioners – are tools that IRISS will use in its work with employers and providers over 2017/18.

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