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Community Development Alliance Scotland

February 2017



CDAS Conference

We are still taking bookings for our conference ‘Making community empowerment a reality’ on 7 March. The conference will focus on showcasing the work of a wide variety of community development groups and projects, and draw lessons on the nature of a common commitment to community development. Bookings can be made here. Free places are available for community groups with an annual income of less than £50,000, but these must still be booked, please.

This is the programme for the day.

Making Community Empowerment a Reality: A shared commitment to community development
Tuesday, 7 March, 2017, St Paul’s and St George’s Church,   46, York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3RH

10am   Registration, Teas and Coffees
10.30am Welcome (Fiona Garven, Chair, CDAS)
10.35am Practice presentations round 1:  Please choose one of our seven practice presentations (see below) to hear about what people have done and how this was made possible, and join in the discussion
11.15am Martin Cawley, Director, Big Lottery Fund Scotland
– presentation and facilitated discussions
12.15pm Practice presentations round 2: Please choose another practice presentation
12.55pm Lunch
1.45pm Practice presentations round 3: Please choose another practice presentation
2.25pm Open Space discussions – making community empowerment a reality (Teas and coffees available)
3.15pm Summary – a common commitment to community development?
3.30pm Close


  1. Community action to improve health:   Healthy n’ Happy (Cambuslang and Rutherglen)
  2. Community action to reduce poverty: £20 More project, Comas (Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh)
  3. People making a community plan for their area:  Vibrant Communities, East Ayrshire (EA Council and community representatives)
  4. Working together to develop a rural community: Here we Are (Cairndow, Argyll)
  5. Mutual help for people leaving prison : Aid and Abet, Scottish Churches Housing Action (Edinburgh & Lothians)
  6. Giving a voice to people with health problems and underrepresented groups: Your Voice (Inverclyde)
  7. Participatory Budgeting with young people (North Ayrshire Council and PB Partners)


Empowerment Act: Guidance for Participation Requests

The Scottish Government has published the draft guidance for the Participation Request part of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, following consultations. Regulations and guidance are needed to fill in the detail of how the Participation Request mechanism as set out in Part 3 of the Act will work in practice. It is not expected that the guidance will change significantly from this point but the Scottish Government welcome your comments and questions. You can email them at participationrequestguidance@gov.scot. Government expect the regulations to come into force following the parliamentary process on or around the 1 April 2017.

According to the draft guidance Participation Requests “are designed to help groups highlight community needs and issues, and become involved in change or improvement. They are not intended to replace good quality existing community engagement or participation processes but are rather designed to complement and enhance them. Similarly, Participation Requests are not intended to be an extension of complaints procedures but should rather be viewed as an opportunity for communities to establish formal dialogue with public service authorities”

“There are a range of possible uses of Participation Requests which can be broadly divided into four categories as follows:

  • To help people start a dialogue about something that matters to their community, through highlighting needs, issues or opportunities for improvement.
  • To help people have their voice heard in policy and service development, through contributing to decision-making processes.
  • To help people to participate in the design, delivery, monitoring or review of service provision, through contributing to service change or improvement.
  • To help people challenge decisions and seek support for alternatives which improve outcomes.”

“Most community participation bodies will need at least some support to make best use of the Participation Request process and it is important that support is provided for those groups who may be less heard or who face additional barriers. Types of support that may be needed include the following:

  • Administrative or practical support
  • Support for equal participation.
  • Connecting and linking
  • Organisational support
  • Community development support”.

This SCDC briefing is intended to help people to get started on finding out how they can use the Act. As well as summarising the main parts of the Act, the briefing links to easy to read sources of further information.

Child poverty bill published

The Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill has been published and will see Scotland become the only part of the UK with statutory targets to reduce the number of children experiencing poverty. Targets include having fewer than 10% living in relative poverty compared to the average income, and fewer than 5% living in ‘absolute poverty’ – which uses a fixed amount to calculate whether basic needs are met – by 2030. The government will publish a three-year child poverty delivery plan by April 2018, which will be updated every five years, and annual reports to measure progress. Campaigners have welcomed the Bill.

Scottish Health Council – a”toothless hamster”?

According to Holyrood magazine, the Scottish Health Council “had a torrid time in front of MSPs” at a Health and Sport committee meeting. The Council, which sits in Healthcare Improvement Scotland, was set up to improve the involvement of patients in decisions about services made by health boards. In practice this has meant deciding when such decisions are to be referred up to ministers as ‘major changes’. It has done that six times out of a possible 27. Committee convener Neil Findlay questioned the body’s independence and value for money. “Our role is not to campaign on behalf of local groups,” the Health Council told MSPs.

Social Enterprise ‘early actions’

Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy was launched in December, with £140,000 to expand the Social Entrepreneurs Fund to help individuals set up and run a social enterprise.  A further £927,107 has now been announced, which will fund a number of early actions, including:

  • Starting the country’s first ‘social impact hubs’ to encourage greater teamwork between enterprises
  • Strengthening business and leadership support for our community enterprises and development trusts
  • Setting up a partnership and procurement hub to improve the sector’s ability to collaborate and tender for contracts
  • Advancing social enterprise learning across schools in the Highlands and Islands and Southern Scotland.

Review of the National Performance Framework’s National Outcomes

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, places a new duty on Scottish Ministers to consult on, develop and publish a new set of National Outcomes for Scotland, in place of the existing (non-statutory) framework). The public consultation Phase of the review involved consulting with the public on what kind of Scotland they would like to live in. This has apparently already taken place, carried out through a series of public discussions and street stalls run by the Carnegie UK Trust and Oxfam Scotland.

Phase Two of the review is seeking the views of “expert stakeholders (e.g. practitioners, analysts and policy makers)” on a new set of National Outcomes and possible changes to the current format. A series of ‘Structured Conversations’ is under way. We understand that places are still available at the remaining events:

Monday 27 February 2017 10.30-12.30 Children in Scotland, Edinburgh
Monday 27 February 2017 14.00-16.00 Children in Scotland, Edinburgh
Tuesday 28 February 2017 14.30-16.30 Young Scot, Edinburgh
Wednesday 1 March 2017 10.30-12.30 Atlantic Quay, Glasgow
Wednesday 1 March 2017 14.00-16.00 Atlantic Quay, Glasgow

In addition the deadline for responses to an online survey for “policy makers, practitioners and expert stakeholders from public, private or third sector organisations which are directly or indirectly involved in the delivery of the NPF National Outcomes”, but not apparently “the general public”, has been extended to 7 March and we are asked to forward the survey to partner groups if we think they would like to take part in the survey.

Common Good Property and Funds

The Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee has launched a call for views as part of work it is undertaking on common good property and funds. The deadline for responses is Wednesday 22 March 2017.

When are the Scottish Government’s health and sports strategies due?

A useful article in Holyrood magazine lists 14 forthcoming strategic statements.

Responses to the strategy ‘Mental Health in Scotland – a 10-year vision’

The Scottish Government have published their summary of the key messages from the analysis of responses to the public engagement exercise about a new Mental Health Strategy for Scotland. A total of 598 responses informed the analysis..

Community Development qualifications – mapping

Education Scotland are seeking to produce an overview of the range and take up of Community Development qualifications available in Scotland. The mapping exercise is seeking information on qualifications up to SCQF level 8, and including those which are available to community volunteers and activists. ES would like anyone offering any accredited Community Development qualifications to complete their online survey. The closing date is Friday 10th March 2017.

Scottish Government scheme to help third sector organisations with data analysis

The Scottish Government Analytical Exchange Programme is inviting bids from third sector organisations in Scotland for short projects (up to 10 person days) where statistical or analytical skills could make a difference to your organisation. One or two Scottish Government analysts act as a consultancy to help solve problems in your organisation at no cost to you.  Over the last five years analysts have supported around 100 projects.  These have covered different sectors including health, poverty, employability, youth services and tourism. Placements have typically covered how you measure success, bringing together evidence around a subject, or making the most of the data that organisations collect. Applications should be sent to Roger Halliday by email: chiefstatistician@gov.scot by Friday 3rd March 2017.  Application form here

Participatory Budgeting Champions: express your interest

PB Scotland is seeking to create a group of PB champions, who are able to support others on their journey. You may be a qualified community engagement professional, a grass roots community activist or perhaps someone who understands how commissioning and public finance works. You’ll be working as part of a team, with the support of experienced mentors and the other PB champions, to enhance the understanding of PB and contribute towards a fairer, more democratic Scotland. Learn more and express your interest.

Dialogues on Empowered Communities

‘Empowered Communities in the 2020s’ is Local Trust’s new project made possible by a major legacy donation from the former Community Development Foundation. The project is about scoping and supporting the future of community development across the UK, with a critical eye for what it needs to look like and who it needs to involve in order to be fit for the purpose of empowering communities in the 2020s. Local Trust and their partners at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have chosen to start with facilitated conversations which will ask, ‘What needs to happen to bring about empowered communities?’  Local Trust’s chief executive introduces the research in a blog.


Communities Matter: Training and services to support community development Communities Matter is a new suite of training and development support by the Scottish Community Development Centre for community organisations and people working with communities. It includes:

  • The Community Empowerment Act and the opportunities for communities
  • Planning for success: an introduction to outcome focused planning
  • Community Engagement de-mystified
  • Understanding our Community: Community-led action research
  • Doing ‘with’ not ‘to’ – An introduction to co-production
  • What makes a healthy community?: An introduction to community-led health
  • Facilitation, running participative events and getting your message across

Community led-health and welfare reform A new briefing for the CHEX network, Putting the “well” into welfare, sums up the main changes and issues around welfare reform.

Councillor induction materials  The Improvement Service has published the first three of a series of seven induction notebooks that will be available to new councillors due to be elected in May.  They cover:

  • The first few weeks in office
  • Roles and responsibilities of the elected member at ward level
  • Roles and responsibilities of the elected member at council level.

Video: Participatory Budgeting in Edinburgh In Edinburgh, PB has been implemented since 2010. This video shows how it can offer benefits in increasing community participation, improving the effectiveness of public spending and promoting greater community cohesion.

CHEX-Point Newsletter The latest edition of CHEX-Point Newsletter has stories of community-led initiatives in action, including:

  • A case study on GAIN – a community-led health project on the Isle of Lewis.
  • News from LGBT Health and Wellbeing on their success over the last year
  • A report on the impact of public speaking training on Glasgow Centre for Population Health’s GoWell panel members
  • An article from The Breastfeeding Network on the impact their volunteers have on their support services.

Counting on a Greener Scotland WEA Scotland has recently launched the e-learning version of its successful science learning resource called Counting on a Greener Scotland. This is a set of teaching materials and learning activities for tutors to use with groups of adults and young people to teach the subjects of weather, climate change and energy — with an emphasis on the importance of developing strong numeracy skills.

Community Engagement & Resilience eLearning course The Scottish Community Safety Network has published an eLearning course ‘Community Engagement and Resilience’ (Scroll down to find link: registration required). The course is aimed at providing practitioners with an introduction to the principles and terminology used, the national context and community engagement techniques.

New guide to being a charity in Scotland Scottish Charity Regulator OSCR has produced a new booklet to make the basics of Scottish charity law easier to understand. ‘Being a Charity in Scotland’ uses simple graphics and straightforward language to help those who run Scottish charities understand their responsibilities.

Understanding Scottish Places Version 2 Understanding Scottish Places allows users to view the social and economic profile of their town, and compare this with other towns in Scotland. Data is included for all towns in Scotland with a population of above 1,000: 479 in total. A comprehensive upgrade USP 2 has introduced new indicators, features and improvements. In addition to the social, economic and demographic data previously available, users can now view information such as daily commuter flows, tourist accommodation capacity, and the amount of grant funding received by their town. Furthermore, each town now has a description of its history, geography and economy.

Research Connecting Communities A Glasgow Centre for Population Health film sets out to find out what difference social research has made to lives of people living in the East End of Glasgow. The film tells the story of how social research can sit alongside other activities – whether providing the basis of a plan for developing a children’s adventure playground, or through carrying out an investigation in the community as part of a community development course.

Demographic change and social inclusion in rural areas A European Network for Rural Development workshop discussed ways to respond to demographic change and promote social inclusion in rural areas. Entitled ‘Social Hubs in Rural Europe’, the event explored existing hubs of activity and inspiring initiatives from across Europe around specific social inclusion and demographic change issues, A wide variety of presentations is available.

Join the Scottish Involvement Network The Scottish Involvement Network has been established to bring together staff, in health, social care, and the third sector, who have an involvement remit within their work (i.e. of people who use support and services and their carers), to share experiences, best practice, learning and upcoming events and opportunities. The network meets 3 or 4 times a year, and includes representatives from the following organisations: HIV Scotland, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, RNIB, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, Scottish Health Council, Hepatitis Scotland, Hepatitis C Trust, Diabetes UK, and more. The next meeting will be: Wednesday 19th April: 10-30am-4pm, 18 York Place,
Edinburgh, EH1 3EP. For further information contact rik.hodgson@hivscotland.com.


Living Standards face squeeze Britain is on course for a “major slowdown” in living standards and the largest increase in inequality since the days of Margaret Thatcher, according to research by the Resolution Foundation, a non-partisan think-tank. Rising inflation in the wake of the Brexit vote and UK Government policies on tax and welfare mean families will see almost no growth in their incomes before 2020.

How poverty affects people’s decision-making processes A Joseph Rowntree Foundation report summarises the most recent evidence on the relationship between socioeconomic status and the psychological, social and cultural processes that underpin decision-making.

The studies reviewed present evidence that people living in or near poverty experience a shift in psychological, social and cultural processes that may hinder their ability to make decisions that are beneficial in the long term. Many of the suboptimal decisions and behaviours associated with low-income groups focus on the present (rather than the future), the actual (rather than the hypothetical), those socially close (rather than those socially distant), and the ‘here’ (rather than places far away). Such shifts lead to choices that are not always bad ones, but rather are adaptive to the constrained circumstances of low socio-economic status.

The Scottish approach to evidence A new discussion paper from the Carnegie UK Trust and the Alliance for Useful Evidence says that Scotland has an opportunity to become a global expert on how to deliver participative public services that focus on real quality of life improvements. They highlight that there has been a shift in Scotland in recent years towards an approach to public services that focuses much more explicitly on outcomes and participation. This shift is not unique to Scotland, but the consensus for this type of approach to service delivery appears to run more deeply a across Scotland’s public and third sectors.  This places Scotland in a strong position to develop high quality evidence about how to improve lives through more joined up, participative public services.

The paper sets out 5 steps that Scotland should take:

  • Step 1: Strengthen the outcomes approach and promote the use of the National Performance Framework at local level
  • Step 2: Build a strong evidence base for the Scottish approach
  • Step 3: Develop robust and appropriate methodologies
  • Step 4: Help decision-makers, at all levels, identify and use a mix of high-quality evidence
  • Step 5: Learn from policy and evidence developments across the UK and share the Scottish experience.

Ken Gibb, an applied economist at the University of Glasgow, has written a blog briefly explaining the report.

Participatory Budgeting in the United States and Canada A report by Public Agenda explains how over 101,000 residents of the USA and Canada have been involved in deciding on over $60m of public funds through PB. In “A Process of Growth: The Expansion of Participatory Budgeting in the United States and Canada in 2015 – 16 they explain how this is happening.

Young People and Volunteering in Scotland 2016 This research examines the nature and extent of volunteering participation and attitudes towards volunteering among young people (aged 11-18 years). Summary Report Full Report

  • Youth volunteering participation has grown to 52%, nearly double the adult figure of 27%.
  • Youth volunteering is much more inclusive than expected:
    • The proportion of young people who volunteer in school time in the most deprived areas is the same as the least deprived areas (both 33%).
    • Volunteering participation by young people with a physical or mental health condition is greater than young people generally (61%).
  • However, there are still significant challenges;
    • Volunteering participation outside school declines dramatically in areas of deprivation.
    • Volunteering is highest in rural compared to urban areas (65% vs. 49%).
    • Girls are significantly more engaged in volunteering than boys (58% vs. 46%).

What the World’s Young People Think and Feel What the world’s young people think and feel‘ is the biggest, most comprehensive up-to-date global survey of the views of Generation Z – the teenagers and young adults who were born around the turn of the millennium. The Varkey Foundation surveyed over 20,000 young people in 20 countries around the world. The same questions were asked in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US. This is the first time that there has been an international comparative study of the attitudes of young people on this scale.


Group and dialogue facilitation Saturday 25th February, 10 – 4 pm, Glasgow

Xchange Scotland are organizing a training day to explore group and dialogue facilitation, to challenge hate and to nurture togetherness in turbulent times. The invitation is to anyone who is a youth worker, group leader, trainer, peer educator or someone interested in this topic? More info: sos@xchangescotland.org

Hearing the voices of young people through Participatory Budgeting Monday 27 February, 13:30 – 16:30, Young Scot Offices, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5EZ

Led by experienced facilitator from PB Partners Peter Bryant, the participatory format of this insight event allows for plenty of opportunity for interaction, with the aim of providing a stimulating and informative experience. It will review experiences of young people’s involvement and empowerment through PB internationally, feature the work done by Young Scot in supporting PB processes both digitally and face to face, and consider how youth work may respond in communities in years to come.

Social Investment Workshops Social Investment Scotland, supported by the Scottish Government, offers a programme of Investment Readiness Workshops for anyone who needs to understand more about social investment. These will take place in March and April in seven towns and cities across Scotland.

CHEX National Conference 2017: Power, inequality and community-led health Wednesday, 1st March, 10:30 – 3:30pm, The Studio, 67 Hope Street Glasgow, G2 6AE

Come and join Community Health Exchange for a day of useful conversations, a chance to meet and learn from each other. With the empowerment agenda starting to be felt across Scotland they will be exploring and sharing learning about what that means for community-led health. CHES is offering community-led health organisation three places at the conference.  They could choose to use these for management committee, volunteers or staff.  They would also be welcome to offer a place to a public sector partner. Book your place here

The right to health Friday, 3rd March, 11:00 – 12:30pm, Dissection Room, Summerhall, Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1QE

For the Declaration Festival’s opening session, members of the People’s Health Movement Scotland (part of a global movement bringing together grassroots health activists, civil society organisations and academic institutions with the aim of promoting Health for All) will lead a discussion of what we mean by the right to health. Register.  Full programme for Festival.

Human Rights Tour 2017 8th March, ACT, Aberdeen

The British Institute for Human Rights in partnership with the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, are bringing the Human Rights Tour to Aberdeen on 8th March. The event is free to attend and aims to:

  • Raise awareness about human rights and their relevance in everyday life
  • Provide a space for debate and discussion

Participatory Budgeting Masterclass Wednesday 15th March, Trades Hall, Glasgow.

Senscot, in partnership with the Scottish Community Alliance, is hosting a Masterclass on Participatory Budgeting (PB) – ‘Opportunities for social enterprises’. The masterclass will be delivered by Jez Hall of PB Partners and Shared Future CIC. For more info and to book see here.

Are you ready? Youth Work & Community Resilience Training 15 March Edinburgh / 23 March Glasgow

Scotland’s climate is changing. Extreme weather plus other emergencies such as utilities failure and pandemics present big potential challenges but there are lots of actions young people can take to help themselves and their communities to be better prepared and more resilient.

This is a free, half day training designed to support practitioners who work with young people to introduce, explore and engage with emergencies and community resilience. All participants will get a copy of the new ‘Are you ready?’ toolkit

Edinburgh Glasgow

Is it time for a Citizens’ Assembly in the Scottish Parliament? 20th March, 3pm-4.30pm, University of Edinburgh

The Academy of Government invites you to this event. Attendance is free, but places are limited, so please register. Participants will deliberate on the merits of adding a Citizens’ Assembly as a second chamber to the Scottish Parliament. A panel of four critics and proponents will present arguments for and against the idea and join in small-group discussions.

  • Brett Hennig (author, director of the Sortition Foundation),
  • Robin McAlpine (director of Common Space, Scotland),
  • Angela Haggerty (journalist, broadcaster, editor)
  • Marc Geddes (Lecturer in British Politics, University of Edinburgh).

Hosted by Oliver Escobar (University of Edinburgh)

Intergenerational National Network 21 March, 10.30 for 11 to 3pm, Town House, Aberdeen

The Intergenerational National Network is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The very full programme will include a choir, films, presentations and round table conversations on a wide variety of topics. For more information, please contact Pat Scrutton at patscrutton247@gmail.com or on 07557766779.

Participation Essentials 22-March to 23-March, Edinburgh (Prices range from £10.00 to £20.00)

This two day event is designed for youth workers, volunteers and young leaders to gain knowledge, skills and confidence in delivering youth led activities, programmes and projects. This training starts off with the foundations of “What is Youth Participation” as it moves on it establishes how young people can become involved in “Decision Making” and take active roles as “Young Leaders or Volunteers”. The course explores what future opportunities exist for young people to become “Peer Facilitators, Mentors, Educators, Leaders and Mediators” and wraps up by looking at tools and techniques to get your group working together. Find out more and book here.

Brexit and its implications for rights, 2-4pm, 27th March,  Edinburgh

This seminar by the Human Rights Consortium Scotland will provide information about the structure and law on rights in Europe currently and the Brexit process in Scotland, and will include questions and discussion around how we can protect rights in Scotland post-Brexit.  Places are free but limited

Learning for Sustainability: Making Connections with Nature conference Friday 12 May, 09:00-15:30, Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh

This conference is organised by City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with the Learning for Sustainability Scotland task group – Connections to Nature. The aim of the conference is to enhance the practice of those working on Learning for Sustainability across all forms of education – both formal and non formal.

Welfare Rights 2017 Friday 19 May, University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RD

CPAG’s annual welfare rights conference for advisers, support workers and all those working to maximise family incomes.

Change: The Health and Social Care Integration Event Tuesday 30 May, Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Join the ALLIANCE, its members and partners at their annual conference. The event will focus on putting people at the centre of decision making and will cover a range of cross-sectoral issues that affect people’s lives. The programme and venue will be designed around different zones reflecting many of the key themes that are important to people living with long term conditions, disabled people and unpaid carers. An Early Bird discount rate is available for all delegate places booked before Friday 3 March. 


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