What Works Scotland has welcomed a new publication discussing whether there is a distinct ‘Scottish approach’ to evidence-based policy-making.

Members of the What Works Scotland team took part in the debates at a roundtable discussion with stakeholders from academia, the third sector and government that the authors draw on for the paper.

Published by the Alliance for Evidence and the Carnegie Trust UK, the discussion paper:

  • asks whether there is a distinct ‘Scottish approach’ to evidence-based policy-making
  • argues that Scotland is in a strong position to build upon its National Performance Framework and become an expert on how to deliver participative, outcomes-based public services, and
  • proposes a number of steps for strengthening a shift towards more participative public services.

The paper highlights the need for collaboration to help local communities generate evidence that can support their participation in decision-making, saying, “The Scottish approach means more collaboration and increasing use of co-production, eg between service users and providers, or between researchers, communities, service users and commissioners.” (pg 2)

Researchers at What Works Scotland have been working closely with local services and communities in four areas of Scotland for the past 18 months to identify and generate evidence that they can use to tackle local issues.

We’re currently documenting and analysing the lessons that we’re learning from this collaborative action research approach.

Our most recent report, published this week, is a co-produced publication that explores collaborative learning, research and action in public service reform. It illustrates 10 key issues for the practice of collaborative and inquiring approaches to partnership working.

In West Dunbartonshire we helped the community planning partnership to publish community profiles. Now we’re investigating how these can enable community planning partners and communities to make decisions on priorities and actions. Find out more in our blog post Making data meaningful in West Dunbartonshire.

See all the collaborative action research reports from What Works Scotland