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Community Development Alliance Scotland

March 2017



CDAS Conference

The CDAS conference ‘Making Community Empowerment a Reality: a shared commitment to community development’ was held on 7 March 2017, in St Paul’s & St George’s Church, Edinburgh. A wide range of people from community and voluntary groups, public services and others across Scotland and beyond attended.held on 7 March. A variety of presentations and items of feedback from the day are now available.

The core of the day’s activities was the opportunity to meet, hear from and discuss with some very varied community groups and projects. Summaries of who they are, what they have done and how they did it will appear in our forthcoming publication ‘How Community Development Happens’.

‘What community development means for us’

CDAS recently asked its members for short statements on how they see community development as relevant to their work, and how their work contributes to community development. The responses that we have received show the wide variety of sectors and types of organisation for whom community development is important and the many ways in which they contribute to it. They are reproduced in this document and also in the ‘Members’ section of our website.

A Scottish Commitment to Community Development: Possible Recommendations

CDAS has in recent years argued that the Scottish Government and partners should work to create a new overall statement of vision on the role of stronger communities, plus a process for its implementation. We feel that the case for such a commitment will be strengthened if we work now with partners in key policy sectors to seek definition of and agreement on the practical agenda that ought to follow on from such a statement of commitment. What should be the core recommendations – the ‘key asks’ – that it should contain or lead on to? This paper sets out for discussion a set of possible recommendations for inclusion in a statement of commitment, including areas where new actions might need to be developed and agreed.


Development Trusts Reviews

A total of 6 reviews of Development Trusts have now been carried out by HMI / Education Scotland. Development Trusts Association Scotland reports that a meeting was recently convened to reflect on what has been learned from the process and they agreed with Education Scotland on 3 key outcomes:

  1. to produce a joint report covering all 6 reviews,
  2. to produce a ‘How Good is your Development Trust’ evaluation framework
  3. to explore how a peer appraisal version of the review process could be developed (and funded).

Scrutiny guide for social tenants and landlords

A best practice guide to embedding tenant scrutiny in social housing has been officially launched by the Scottish Government. Scrutiny involves adopting a tenant-centred approach to landlord activities. It gives tenants the power to work collaboratively with landlords on decisions about service delivery through a detailed understanding of performance, including performance data. The new guide sets out the opportunities and challenges of establishing effective tenant scrutiny activities.

Scotland’s Play Charter

Play Scotland is promoting Scotland’s first inclusive Play Charter. This describes a collective commitment to play for all babies, children and young people in Scotland. It builds on the Scottish Government’s National Play Strategy and the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach to supporting children, young people and their families.

The Charter is for parents, play providers, play champions and everyone with an interest and/or responsibility for play in Scotland. The aims of Scotland’s Play Charter can be found here.

Should you wish to pledge your support to this Charter please send your name, job title, organisation, web address and your logo here. By supporting the Charter you will be recognised as a Play Champion. Organisations and individuals who pledge their support will be awarded the ‘Committed to PLAY’ stamp which can be used on resources and websites.

Scottish Government Digital Strategy

‘Realising Scotland’s full potential in a Digital World’ sets out how the Scottish Government intends to place digital at the heart of everything it does, from reforming public services to delivering economic growth. This includes:

  • A new digital schools programme
  • A new round of funding for community digital inclusion projects and expanding Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter
  • Policies on digital skills and jobs, broadband provision etc..

Implementation Approach of Race Equality Framework for Scotland

The Race Equality Framework 2016-2030 is being delivered by the Scottish Government and is coordinated by the Race Equality Team within the Equality Unit. This paper outlines the Implementation Approach. Kaliani Lyle has been appointed to a new role of Race Equality Framework Adviser to champion race equality and to help drive forward the implementation of the Race Equality Framework. Her key role is to provide strategic independent expertise, insight, assurance and scrutiny to Scottish Government.

Gaelic Language Plan consultation

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body with responsibility for Scottish Gaelic, has published the draft National Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 for public consultation. The plan has a legal status. This version has an increased focus on childcare and education. Brexit is a cause for some concern as many of the frameworks for minority languages are Europe-based and leaving the European Union could present further challenges.

The plan contains a commitment to work with Community Land Scotland to make sure that Gaelic is at the heart of economic development resulting from the substantial numbers of community land buyouts, through linking it with tourism, heritage projects or social care businesses, for example, and integrating Gaelic learning and usage into economic growth.

You can provide your feedback on the draft plan at www.gaidhlig.scot. The consultation will end on 17 May, with the final plan to be published by the end of June 2017.

Nominations open for 2017 CRNS Awards.

The categories for this year’s awards by Community Resources Network Scotland, Scotland’s national reuse, repair and recycling charity, are:

  • Innovation Award
  • Collaboration Award
  • Developing People Award
  • Individual Achievement Award

To nominate an organisation (or someone within it) for an award, please contact Elaine Ritchie at elaine@crns.org.uk. The closing date for completed forms to Elaine is Friday 31 March 2017.

Scottish Charity Awards 2017

The Scottish Charity Awards gives you the chance to celebrate a special person, organisation or project.

The deadline for entries is 6 April 2017

Expansion of English Community Organisers programme

Community Organisers Ltd (COLtd) has announced that it has secured a £4.2m contract from the Office of Civil Society, part of the Department of Culture Media and Sport, to expand the number of Community Organisers in England from 6,500 to 10,000 by 2020. COLtd is the independent body that grew out of the original 2011 – 2015 Community Organisers Programme.

Community organising is the work of building relationships and networks in communities to activate people and create social and political change through collective action. Community Organisers listen individually to residents, identify and inspire local leaders and bring people together to take action on the issues they all care about. COLtd will launch a £1.3 million grant fund to embed community organising at a neighbourhood level, empowering Community Organisers and local leaders to work with local and national partners.

The programme will also establish the National Academy for Community Organising to sustain ongoing training.

Empowered Communities project update

As we have previously reported, the Empowered Communities project is a UK wide investigation created as a legacy of the former Community Development Foundation, investigating what is needed for communities to become more vibrant and empowered in the future.

The research partner, IVAR, is looking for people to contribute. Complete this quick online form to offer to:

  • Share information on an empowered community you know
  • Share ideas what you think could help communities become more vibrant
  • Feedback on IVAR’s early findings as they emerge later in the year
  • Attend an event to share your views
  • Take part in a Twitter chat with the researchers.

Federation for Community Development Learning to close

The Federation for Community Development Learning will be closing down at the end of March 2017. FCDL was the UK wide membership networking organisation that supported community development through advancing and promoting good quality CD learning and practice. It has been operating on a voluntary basis since 2014/15.

They will be putting a fuller statement up on their website in the near future. Hopefully this will clarify the future for the Community Development National Occupational Standards, for which they currently hold the custodianship.


Illustrating the Ladder We have all seen illustrations of the ‘ladder of participation’ and similar ideas. This Flickr page by someone called Tim Bonnemann gathers together lots and lots of them.

What do you mean I have a right to health? The Centre for Health Policy at the University of Strathclyde recently completed a participatory research project on the right to health, with peer researchers from the Glasgow Homelessness Network and the Mental Health Foundation. The project arose from a recognition of the importance of empowering the people affected by health inequalities to find solutions to them, and builds on the work of Scotland’s National Action Plan on Human Rights (SNAP).

Perspectives on Place  A report is available from Glasgow’s Healthier Future Forum 18: ‘Perspectives on Place’ which took place on 23 November 2016.

Local Government Innovation Exchange SOLACE Scotland and the Improvement Service have launched the Local Government Innovation Exchange, a website showcasing work by Scottish local authorities. It features over 150 case studies which show how the projects have improved outcomes for local people, reduced costs or improved efficiency.   The themes are:

  • children and education
  • community planning and empowerment
  • community safety
  • customer service
  • digital
  • employability
  • health and social care
  • housing and regeneration
  • partnership and collaboration
  • service transformation
  • workforce planning and management.

Affiliation to Equality Trust The Equality Trust (set up a few years ago to follow up on Wilkinson and Pickett’s ‘The Spirt Level’) has launched a new affiliation scheme for organisations and groups who share their vision of a fairer, better UK. They welcome applications from across the private, public and third sectors.The Equality Trust is dedicated to building a broad social movement in favour of a more equal, fairer and better UK.

Evidence from Elsewhere The Knowledge Translation Network publication “Evidence from Elsewhere: Gathering, analysing and using other people’s evidence” is packed with lots of tips and advice useful for anyone undertaking a review of secondary evidence, in other words… other people’s evidence.

Handbook on fundraising for charity Trustees A free downloadable resource, “Trustees and Fundraising:  A practical guide” has been published by the Institute of Fundraising in partnership with the English NCVO, Charity Finance Group and ACEVO.  It looks at key areas trustees should be thinking through and will support both trustees and fundraisers to create effective fundraising policies to promote the aims and objectives of a charity.

Getting the best from external evaluations – Principles for funders Getting the best from external evaluations – Principles for funders’ has been produced by a working group of funders with the support of Evaluation Support Scotland. The resource is about external evaluations (for example of a grant programme), that are commissioned from consultants, universities or others. It gives funders practical principles on what they can do to make sure they get the best from the external evaluations. The headline message is that a successful commissioned evaluation comes from a good relationship between the commissioner and the evaluator, a shared purpose and a commitment to learning.

The State of Community Learning Centres in Six Asian Countries Two Associates of Glasgow University’s Centre of Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (CR&DALL) have published a Synthesis Report on the State of Community Learning Centres in Six Asian Countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.


Influencing Change: CLD in Scotland, 2001-2015 A new (downloadable) book on community learning and community development in Scotland ’Influencing Change: CLD in Scotland, 2001-2015’ (The Making of an Empowering Profession, Volume 2), edited by Colin Ross, brings together the key policy and guidance documents across all aspects of CLD, combined with original introductory material charting the development of the profession through a period of dramatic change and a selection of critical comment, research and case studies. It provides a broad chronological outline, highlighting the ways in which the story of CLD is an integral part of wider social, political and economic developments, together with an exploration of key aspects and themes.

The CLD Standards Council has taken the lead in producing this reader, working with partners from across the field and from academic institutions. The new book is a digital publication, which means the scope is there to add to it progressively.

Paris and Participatory Budgeting What Works Scotland recently facilitated international learning about participatory budgeting between public services in Scotland and Paris, Their team of researchers and practitioners have prepared a series of blog posts to share learning from the experience.

Asset-based approaches in service settings: striking a balance The Glasgow Centre for Population Health has published new research into asset-based approaches in services, plus two infographics.

Family Learning Education Scotland has published a Family Learning Review – the first of its kind in Scotland. It reviews international and national evidence and good practice around family learning and provides guidance on how to develop models that work for both families, adults and children. The review emphasises the important contribution that community learning and development makes to family learning.

Councils continue to deliver despite financial pressures Total current spending by Scottish councils has reduced by 11% in real terms from £17.18 billion to £15.30 billion in the last six years according to a new report from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework. The report also highlights that despite this 11% reduction across the period, the vast majority of productivity, output and outcome measures within councils have improved.

Scotland’s Third Sector Fails to Grow Scotland’s third sector is failing to grow. New figures from SCVO show that only 53% of Scottish charities saw their turnover go up last year and the average increase was far below inflation at just 0.0001%. The majority of the growth was recorded by organisations with an annual turnover over £500,000 and smaller charities recorded an overall reduction in turnover. Only 1% of people working in the sector believe the economy of the whole sector will improve and only 12% believe their own charity’s finances will improve.

Developing the role of community groups in local climate resilience: final report of the Urban Heat project Funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector in the development of local climate resilience. The project focused specifically on urban heatwaves as a key risk that is likely to increase under climate change. The project was based around participatory action research with groups and local policy stakeholders in three London boroughs.

Tackling Sectarianism Dr Duncan Morrow has published his report ‘Review of the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland’, following the group’s final report in 2015. His recommendations include sharing of best practice across the relevant authorities, greater community involvement and a commitment to tackling the issue as part of equalities education in schools

Muslim Youth and Political Participation in Scotland Findings by Newcastle University researchers on Muslim Youth and Political Participation in Scotland include ‘charity, community and volunteering work was carried out by most research participants, highlighting a widespread interest in this form of participation’.

Our Voice Citizens’ Panel The first survey report from the Our Voice Citizens’ Panel is available from the Scottish Health Council. The Panel was established to be nationally representative and at a size that will allow statistically robust analysis of the views of Panel members at a Scotland wide level. At present there are 1,291 members from across all 32 local authority areas. This is the first time a national Citizens’ Panel of this nature focusing on health and social care issues has been established in Scotland. The survey had questions on social care support, use of medicines and pharmacy services, and dental services for improving oral health.

Experts and evidence in public decision making Following ClimateXChange’s project on citizens juries Dr Jen Roberts and Dr Ruth Lightbody have reviewed ten similar projects to understand how witnesses are being involved in different ways. The report looks at a range of issues relating to the expert witnesses, including scope and selection, recruitment.

Together in the EU -Promoting the participation of migrants and their descendants Integrating migrants, refugees and their descendants is of critical importance for the future of the European Union. This report examines Member States’ integration policies and action plans or strategies for promoting the participation of immigrants and their descendants in society. It focuses on non-discrimination, social cohesion, education, employment, language learning and political engagement. (Infographic).


Scottish Energy Strategy: Community Consultation Wednesday 29 March, 1-4.30pm, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), 12 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LT.

Scottish Communities Climate Action Network invites you to attend an opportunity to review the Draft Scottish Energy Strategy. Community, public sector and not-for profit organisations are invited to hear about the ideas emerging which will shape the energy scene in Scotland for the next decade or two – and formulate feedback on the proposals. The Scottish Government have issued a raft of draft documents for comment:

Places and Spaces for Health and Wellbeing 25 April, Glasgow

This conference will examine the connections between health and wellbeing, place making and use of urban built landscape and open spaces. In addition, it will summarise the relationship between open space in relation to physical and mental health, and environmental, economic, social and cultural wellbeing, through expert analysis and evidence based case studies.

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

Making Connections with Nature 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 within Learning for Sustainability across all forms of education – both formal and non-formal – in gaining ideas, sharing good practice and making connections. The programme includes speakers, practical workshops, sharing good practice and reflection, covering themes of Learning for Sustainability: Sustainable Development Education, Global Citizenship and Outdoor Learning.

Does Regeneration Work? Tuesday 23 May, Glasgow Women’s Library

SURF will be celebrating its 25 year anniversary with a special debate event to ask: ‘Does Regeneration Work?’, featuring leading regeneration academic Prof Douglas Robertson and leading practitioner Ian Manson of Clyde Gateway.

SURF Annual Conference Thursday, 31 August, CoSLA Centre, Edinburgh

The outcomes of that debate will help to inform SURF’s 2017 Annual Conference – ‘What Has Regeneration Ever Done for Us?’


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