Research Associate | Co-lead of Collaborative Action Research workstream
Dr Claire Bynner works with community planning partners in West Dunbartonshire, one of the four What Works Scotland case study areas.
Her interest in What Works Scotland came from her previous experience of policymaking and academia.
On the practitioner side, Claire observed scepticism regarding the potential benefits of academic research and little awareness of the evidence that could be useful. On the academic side, the realities of implementing public policy were often overlooked or the evidence was unsuitable for policy makers. What Works Scotland addresses this imbalance through a collaborative approach to the use of evidence in public service reform.
Claire joined the Board of CVS Inverclyde in autumn 2016.
Claire’s background and research interests
Claire’s professional background and expertise is in the field of community participation and empowerment within local strategic partnerships.
As a Development Officer for CVS Inverclyde, she was responsible for facilitating the involvement of the local community and voluntary sector in community planning.
She then worked for Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, developing community planning structures and outcome focused approaches to community engagement. As part of this role Claire undertook a review of Community Engagement in Neighbourhood Management in a neighbourhood in south Glasgow.
In 2010 Claire returned to the University of Glasgow (where she had been an undergraduate 20 years previously) to undertake a Masters in Research and PhD thesis supervised by Professor Annette Hastings and Professor Ade Kearns of the Urban Studies Department. Her thesis examined new migration and the emergence of ‘superdiverse’ neighbourhoods in post-industrial cities, drawing on the theories of multiculturalism and the concepts of intergroup contact and trust. The research, funded by the ESRC, comprised a mixed methods case study of a neighbourhood in Glasgow. The findings provide insights into the contextual factors which influence cooperation and trust between people from extremely different backgrounds.
Read Claire’s article Intergroup relations in a super-diverse neighbourhood: The dynamics of population composition, context and community (paid for or login required) published in Urban Studies Journal.
What Works Scotland publications
- Collaborative Action Research and public services – insights into methods, findings and implications for public service reform (December 2018)
- Facilitation training – new skills to facilitate collaboration (November 2018)
- Making Data Meaningful – Evidence use in a community planning partnership in Scotland (September 2018) – Co-authored
- Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in West Dunbartonshire (June 2018) – Co-authored
- Insights from ‘Your Community’ – a place-based approach to public service reform (December 2017) – Co-authored
- Reflecting on what works in developing authentic relationships in complex settings (December 2016) – Co-authored
- Rationales for Place-based Approaches in Scotland (July 2016)
- “Challenge current practice and assumptions! Make waves!!” What Works Scotland Collaborative Learning Event (June 2016) – Co-authored
- What Works in Community Profiling? Initial reflections from the WWS project in West Dunbartonshire (March 2016) – Co-authored
- Community-led Action Planning Day Event Report. West Dunbartonshire, October 2015 (March 2016)
- Collaborative Action Retreat Report – Summary of retreat held in June 2015 (October 2015) – Co-authored
- Keyword Partnership Seminar Presentations (June 2015) – Co-authored
- Changing Lives, Delivering Success (June 2015) – Co-authored
What Works Scotland blog posts
- Facilitative Leadership: Involving citizens and communities in local decision-making (May 2017)
- In an era of killer soundbites how can researchers and policy-makers close the gap between complexity and simplicity? (January 2017)
- Why Place? (December 2016)
- The 2016 Alliance Conference and the Politics of Possibility (May 2016)
- Scotland welcomes refugees – How do strangers become citizens? (November 2015)
- Think YES? How to deliver transformational change in relationships between staff, managers and local people (July 2015)
- The Economics of Prevention and Difficult Decisions for Community Planning Partnerships in Scotland (April 2015)
- ‘Fractals’, Community Planning and Placed-based Policy Geography in West Dunbartonshire (March 2015)
Cultivating ‘Sanction and Sanctuary’ in Scottish Collaborative Governance: Doing Relational Work to Support Communicative Spaces.
A chapter in Action Research in Policy Analysis. Critical and Relational Approaches to Sustainability Transitions . Edited by Koen P.R. Bartels, Julia M. Wittmayer and published by Routledge.
This book explores how action research forms a valuable methodology for producing such collaborative knowledge and action. It outlines the recent uptake of action research in policy analysis and transition research and develops a distinct and novel approach that is both critical and relational. By sharing action research experiences in a variety of settings, the book seeks to explicate ambitions, challenges, and practices involved with fostering policy changes and sustainability transitions.
Co-authored with James Henderson
- LGiU Briefing: Refugee resettlement: the role of Scottish local authorities (July 2018) – Co-authored
Claire is based at the University of Glasgow.