November 2018

We’re still busy as we head toward the end of the year and the formal conclusion of the What Works Scotland programme of research. Here are our latest resources and details of what is still yet to come. 


Forthcoming events

Effective leadership and networked governance: Public service and community leadership – What works and why?

It is clear that the leadership and governance approaches of the past are inadequate to tackle the complex terrain of contemporary public service reform.

This seminar draws together some of the key findings from the What Works Scotland research on public service and community leadership and provides a forum for discussion and the development of ideas and responses that takes our public services and the leadership agenda to the next level.

  • Date: 4 December 2018, 10am to 1pm
  • Location: The Lighthouse, Glasgow

Book your free place on Eventbrite.

Past events

Presentations and resources from all these events are on the What Works Scotland website.

Research for Change – Beyond What Works

Data and evidence are key components in the development, design and delivery of good, effective public services. In this seminar, we drew on our experiences of working across and with community planning partnerships to explore the type of evidence used by those in public services and how decisions are made about whether, when and how we evaluate.
See the presentations and reports

Transforming communities? Exploring the roles of community anchor organisations in public service reform – supporting, leading and challenging?

This webinar on community anchors drew on the recent What Works Scotland research report on community-led, holistic community organisations – in particular as community development trusts and community-controlled housing associations.

Watch a recording and get the presentation

Empowering People & Places – What Works?

Attendees at the Empowering People and Places conference The conference focussed on engaging with research insights into what works, and what does not, in community empowerment as well as discussingimplications for the future of policy and practice in Scotland.

Get the presentations and links to resources

Participatory budgeting and its potential for community empowerment and social justice

In this webinar, Oliver Escobar looked at what needs to happen to ensure that the mainstreaming of PB carves out space for more complex participatory and deliberative processes in local government decision-making.

Watch the webinar

Publications, resources and blogs

Universal basic income: A scoping review of evidence on impacts and study characteristics

This is the first comprehensive scoping review of 28 studies of ten interventions which unconditionally provided substantial cash transfers to individuals or families.

Policy briefing – Evaluability Assessment: A collaborative approach to planning evaluations 

This policy briefing focuses on evaluability assessment, a systematic and collaborative approach to deciding whether and how an evaluation should be done. EA involves stakeholders working together to reach a consensus view of what the policy or service change is expected to achieve, what data sources are available to measure change processes and outcomes, and what, if any, is the best approach to evaluation.

Facilitation training – new skills to facilitate collaboration

A short film about building people’s skills  in collaborative community engagement. It highlights the skillsets required for facilitating collaboration and participation, such as the value of good dialogue and focussed deliberation. In the video,  participants in workshop, generated from a What Works Scotland training initiative,  explain what they’ve learnt and why they think these skills are important.

Continuing to learn from international experiences of participatory budgeting

Coryn Barclay, research consultant at Fife Council, writes about taking part in an international round table discussion at the Third National Meeting of Participatory Budgeting, hosted by the City of Montreuil on 8/9 November 2018 in Paris. Coryn was part of a group, supported by What Works Scotland, who went to Paris in December 2016 to learn from the city about its approach to participatory budgeting.

News, events and resources from other organisations


  • The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) is committed to building networks that will address housing challenges collaboratively. Applications are open to its Knowledge Exchange Fund, with funding of between £5,000 and £8,000 is available to undertake short, knowledge exchange projects that will help address challenges facing the UK housing policy and practice communities. Closing date is 3 December at 12 noon.


  • November 19-25 marks Co-production Week Scotland 2018, organised by the Scottish Co-production Network.  It’s a chance to learn, discuss and celebrate co-production, putting people and communities at the heart of support and services.  See more on the Co-Production Network website.
  • Policy Scotland and the Robert Owen Centre are to host a lecture by Professor Louise Stoll on Catalysts – designing research-informed resources to stimulate deep change on Wednesday 21 November at the University of Glasgow. Book on Eventbrite.
  • IRISS is running two HOW to communicate with impact seminars – one on November 26 and the other on December 3. The free hands-on-workshops (HOW) are for anyone working in the social services sector and explore how to make sure your communications are understood and acted on, and how to get your messages noticed.  Details are on the IRISS website.
  • COSLA is running several public workshops related to the Review of Local Governance: in Glasgow on 28 November; in Inverness on 4 December; and in Perth on 5 December.


  • The Scottish Community Development Centre has put together a briefing and infographic that summarises what has been learned since the introduction of participation requests. The report and infographic are on the SCDC website.
  • This year’s Participatory Budgeting in Scotland Festival took place on October 24-25.  A round-up of the events and associated resources in on the PB Scotland website.
  • Democratic Audit UK has published The UK’s Changing Democracy, a free e-book, with short chapters on different parts of the UK’s political life, which set out criteria for democracy, assess recent developments and analyse current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • Carnegie UK Trust has published Quantifying kindness, public engagement and place, the first quantitative survey of experiences of kindness in communities and public services. It includes insights into how people describe the place they live in, their sense of control over public services, and how they perceive and act upon various methods of public engagement.

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