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

We’re pleased to be able to say that the second community planning officials survey is now out! And, even though it perhaps feels as if summer is here already, we’re squeezing in just a few more events and launches before the holiday season starts


New Community planning officials survey: second survey out now 

What Works Scotland has launched the second nationwide survey of people working in community planning in Scotland. Invitations to participate in this second survey are being sent out now.  If you work in community planning in Scotland but haven’t heard from us by 1 June 2018, please contact to ask about taking part.

Working for a local authority in community planning? Watch the video (2 minutes) for three important reasons to complete the survey!

£2 million funding for Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland

Children’s Neighbourhoods  Scotland will receive £2 million of funding for its place-based approach designed to tackle child poverty by supporting the collective impact of services and community empowerment to improve outcomes for all children in a neighbourhood.


Forthcoming events

Experiences of refugee resettlement in Scotland

Wednesday June 20, Glasgow

This workshop focuses on deepening our understanding of the experiences and challenges faced by refugees who have resettled in Scotland. It will share the findings from two new What Works Scotland research reports which look at how public services are responding to meeting the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.  Organised in partnership with Save the Children, this event is part of Refugee Festival Scotland 2018.
Register on Eventbrite

Evidence to Action: what works for public service reform

Thursday June 21, Edinburgh

This seminar will present our learnings from Evidence to Action (E2A) projects, and practical advice and tools for incorporating evidence in decision-making and public service delivery. It aims to identify opportunities for sustaining and growing E2A practices across Scotland beyond the What Works Scotland project.

Register on Eventbrite

Past events

Presentations and resources from these What Works Scotland events are now available online.

‘Disinvestment’, or ‘freeing up’ resources for reinvestment?
This seminar examined issues around changing the balance of spend to emphasise prevention and to shift the balance of care away from hospitals into social care in the community. Run by What Works Scotland in partnership with ScotPHN and NHS Health Scotland.

See the presentations and video


Transforming communities? Exploring the roles of community anchor organisations in public service reform, local democracy, community resilience and social change

Section of a word cloud, showing the word 'social economy' most prominently This report explores the developing roles of key community sector organisations known as community anchors. It draws from six exemplar anchor organisations to  explore their roles in engaging with, leading and challenging public service reform; how public services and the state can better support community anchors and community sector development; and potential for building local democracy, community resilience for sustainable development, and wider social change.

Read the summary and download the report  – a four-page policy briefing will be available soon.

Community Planning Officials Survey: Understanding the everyday work of local participatory governance in Scotland – report and  webinar 

 Report and executive summary of the findings from the first survey of community planning officials conducted in Scotland. It sheds light on the composition of this significant group of local public servants, their role, the work they undertake and the implications for community planning partnerships and community engagement.

The second wave of the survey is now out – see the News above

Knowing how: Putting research into practice

What Works Scotland and community planning partners in Fife have worked together on collaborative action research projects for the past three years.  In this blog  Coryn Barclay, Research Consultant at Fife Council,  explains how research is the ‘secret weapon in public service reform’.

Read the blog

Inquiring into Multi-layered, Preventative Partnership

Following the publication of the report and case studies on Multi-layered Preventative Partnership Working earlier this year we also now have two new blogs:

James Henderson from What Works Scotland, writes that the preventative partnership working examined in the report may offer an opportunity for a longer-term, committed approach to preventing inequality, as envisaged by the Christie Commission.

Wayne Gault, Lead Officer with the Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership, reflects on the  Local Outcomes Improvement Plan priority  to change Aberdeenshire’s relationship with alcohol, loking at how the partnership approached the priority, what they have learnt from the experience, and what it means for practice.

Urban neighbourhoods: Five ways to make a difference

Screenshot from the animation showing a yellow circle with the words '5 ways to make a difference' in it  An animation about five approaches that make a difference in urban neighbourhoods and the implications for change, public services and decision-making. This     short video introduces key findings from the pilot research that informed the development of the Smart Urban Intermediaries project.

See the animation, and the Urban Intermediaries website. 

Insights from ‘Your Community’ – a place-based approach to public service reform

Findings from an interim evaluation of ‘Your Community’, a neighbourhood-level, place-based approach to public service reform in West Dunbartonshire, aimed at supporting communities to become more sustainable, thriving, and aspirational, and to improve service delivery.

Read the summary and download the publication.

Participatory-deliberative processes and public policy agendas: lessons for policy and practice

This paper by Dr Oliver Escobar (What Works Scotland) and Adrian Bua offers practical insights for policy workers and democratic reformers seeking to institutionalise participatory and deliberative innovations in the higher tiers of government.

Available (open access ) in The Journal of Policy Design and  Practice.

Publications and resources



  • Refugee Festival Scotland 2018 celebrates the contribution refugees make to life in Scotland – the food and drink, music and poetry, dance, visual art and ideas that people bring with them when they seek safety in Scotland. It take place from Friday 15 June to Sunday 24 June. See the programme.
  • Democracy 21 is a national conference organised by the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, to bring together citizens, activists, community groups, campaigns and unions to think about the challenges for democracy in the current political, social, and technological context, and attempt to collectively imagine the evolution of our current thinking, institutions and practice of democracy. Taking place on Saturday 23 June in Glasgow . Book a place on Eventbrite


Sign up to the What Works Scotland newsletter