POLICY AND PRACTICE DEVELOPMENTS
Revised National Standards for Community Engagement
The newly revised National Standards for Community Engagement were launched on 29th September 2016. First developed in 2005, the Standards are principles for effective practice which supports community engagement and user involvement in Scotland. They are intended to complement and support community empowerment in Scotland and in particular the implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.
In 2015 and 2016, SCDC and What Works Scotland were commissioned by the Scottish Government to undertake a participatory process to review and update the Standards in light of the current context.
The National Standards for Community Engagement have been simplified to seven Standards, reflecting the main elements of good community engagement – Inclusion, Support, Planning, Working Together, Methods, Communication and Impact. Diagram.
Fairer Scotland Action Plan
The Fairer Scotland Action Plan is the first government response to last year’s Fairer Scotland conversation. The Action Plan is built on five high level ambitions that the government will focus on in the period to 2030:
- A fairer Scotland for all
- Ending child poverty
- A strong start for all young people
- Fairer working lives
- A thriving third age
It outlines 50 actions for this parliamentary term to help tackle poverty, reduce inequality and build a fairer and more inclusive Scotland. A few of these are: ‘We will …
- In 2017, introduce a new socio-economic duty on public bodies
- Part-fund three local Poverty and Truth Commissions getting the voices of people who have experienced poverty into the national debate. Building on their work, establish a national Poverty and Inequality Commission in 2017/18. Right at the heart of the commission will be the voices and experiences of people with experience of poverty.
- Launch a new £29 million programme, including £12.5 million from the European Social Fund, to tackle poverty in Scotland Over the next two years, the programme will enable communities and third sector organisations to design, test and deliver innovative approaches to combat poverty and improve people’s lives.
- Do more to help people to have a say in their local areas [mentioning the manifesto proposal to require 1% of local authority budgets to be devoted to Participatory Budgeting, the introduction of Participation Requests (they ‘expect this part of the Act to come into force before the end of 2016’), and the Empowering Communities Fund]
- In 2017, develop a new approach to social isolation and loneliness. … The Scottish Government and its partners have many programmes and funding streams which are in place to address social isolation and loneliness. But these all need to be coordinated better, and we will take action, informed by the best available evidence, via a new strategic approach
The government will hold a Citizen’s Forum in the second half of this parliament, inviting many of those who took part in the previous conversations to help identify new areas of focus. The Citizen’s Forum will help to set out new fairness actions for the next session of parliament.
Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve excellence and equity in education: A Governance Review
The Scottish Government are seeking views on how education in Scotland is run, including who should take decisions in relation to the education of children and young people, and how funding can be made fairer. The consultation covers education from early years to secondary schools. The government says “We believe that decisions about children’s learning and school life should be taken at school level, supported by parents and the local community”. The deadline for responses is 6th January 2017.
Audit Scotland: The public should be more involved in shaping social work
Audit Scotland’s report on social work in Scotland suggests it has reached a “watershed” and that the public and service users must be more involved in shaping future provision. ‘Social Work in Scotland’ says that whilst £3.1bn worth of social care is provided across the country, current approaches will not be sustainable. By 2020, it is estimated that social work will need up to £667m a year more, unless new models of delivering services are implemented.
Audit Scotland recommend that fundamental decisions have to be taken on how services are provided in the future. This should include:
- More work to involve users in how services are designed, commissioned and run.
- Councillors must have the knowledge and skills to deal with the complexities and risks involved.
- A wide debate with local people is required on the level, nature and affordability of services.
Review of NHS targets and Indicators, and National Outcome Indicators
Sir Harry Burns has been appointed to chair a review of NHS targets and indicators, which includes a review of the national indicators that underpin the national health and wellbeing outcomes. The review is due to produce a report by the end of the financial year. Some of his ideas can be seen in this collection of presentations, starting from slide 100. He is keen for the work of the review group to be a collective effort and plans to create mechanisms that enable people to contribute to the thinking.
Developing Leaders for the Future – Open for New Applications
Participants are being recruited for Cohort 2 of the Community Learning – Developing Leaders for the Future learning programme. With the support of Education Scotland, the programme is fully funded and available to successful participants at no cost. Details Qs and As.
This accredited leadership development “is offered to nominated senior leaders in CLD to develop their abilities and enhance their confidence to work as senior leaders and partners within the sector”. This programme involves 3 two-day modules, 2 coaching sessions and the opportunity to experience a ‘360 feedback reflection’. Apply online here. The deadline for applications is 25 October 2016. Successful applicants will be informed by week commencing 7 November 2016.
Community Choices awards
The Community Choices Fund builds on the Scottish Government investment in participatory budgeting over the last two years. Communities across Scotland have been awarded £1.5 million funding to give people more power to make decisions directly on spending in their local areas. The Fund is targeted at work in deprived areas, and for the first time community groups as well as public authorities, including local authorities, were able to apply for funding to organise their own budgeting events. The fund received 137 applications to the sum of £7,097,287. 16 community projects and 12 from public authorities were successful. Full list.
Community Capacity and Resilience Fund
The Community Capacity and Resilience Fund is provided by the Scottish Government and administered by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). Funding is available for awards of up to £5000 to projects which help to mitigate the effects of welfare reform, combat inequality, promote social inclusion and have a preventative impact on communities. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2016 (5pm). After a first run in 2015, the amount available has been doubled for 2016 to £333,000.
Second phase of Dementia Friendly Communities funding
In 2015 the Life Changes Trust invested £3.4 million in dementia friendly communities across Scotland. Their monitoring shows that “the difference they can make to the lives of people with dementia and their carers is enormous. They challenge stereotypes, raise awareness and look beyond the dementia to see the person. They ensure that people remain connected to their communities, and reduce isolation and loneliness”.
The Trust has decided to invest a further £2 million in such communities. They will open for online applications from 17 January 2017, but are open now for questions and clarification.
Year of Young People Themes
As part of the Scottish Government’s programme of themed years, 2018 will be the Year of Young People. The Scottish Government commissioned Children in Scotland, the Scottish Youth Parliament and Young Scot to work with young people to co-design recommendations for the Year. Their recommended themes are:
- Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives.
- Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning.
- Health and Wellbeing –supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience.
- Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
The 2018 Year of Young People Advisory Board added two further themes:
- Enterprise and Regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
- Culture –celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
International Union of Tenants Congress comes to Glasgow
On the 14th-16th October 2016, the 20th International Union of Tenants (IUT) World Congress comes to Glasgow in what is the IUT’s 90th year. The event will see 140 delegates from 28 countries travel to Scotland. The major theme of the event is: “Is control of rents outdated, or a necessity – worldwide?”
INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Community-driven place making Four housing and community organisations have collaborated to produce a booklet showcasing six examples of community led place making. Five of the six case studies centre on new housing and one on a community woodland area. In the booklet’s foreword, the four bodies say that on top of the long-established role of community led development by local housing associations, current policy direction – including community empowerment and land reform legislation – has been hugely encouraging for people who want to influence how their community develops as a place to live.
The booklet was produced by Development Trusts Association Scotland, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust and Scottish Federation of Housing Associations. It is an action under the Joint Housing Delivery Plan – a collaboration between the Scottish Government and partner bodies.
Participation Toolkit for health The Scottish Health Council have recently updated their Participation Toolkit, compiled to support NHS staff to involve patients, carers and members of the public in their own care and in the design and delivery of local services. It offers a number of tried and tested tools along with some more recently developed approaches.
How Good is Our Culture and Sport? 2 HGIOC&S?2 is the new version of this Quality Improvement Framework, published by Education Scotland, which is designed to promote effective self-evaluation and support improvement within the sports and culture sectors across Scotland. It enables practitioners to evaluate their performance and contribution to local and national outcomes and identify priorities for action.
The case for a National Strategy for Co-production The Health and Social Care Alliance brought together leaders from Health and Social Care Partnerships, third sector representatives, and people with long term conditions to have a conversation about co-production in health and social care, and share their experiences and best practices. A full event report is available.
Community ownership An eight step guide to community ownership of land has been produced by Community Land Scotland.
Community-led research projects Community Food and Health Scotland have shared learning materials that were developed as part of a CFHS community-led research project into food security/food poverty. The materials are designed to guide and support anyone who is planning a community-led research project. Also available are research reports from their three community partners – Glasgow Central and West Integration Network, Linwood Community Development Trust, and Borders Healthy Living Initiative.
Success rates – what are your chances of receiving funding? A Big Lottery Fund Scotland blog reveals the percentage success rates of applications to their different funds.
Is this the best it can be? Is this the best it can be? is a new toolkit that can be used by anyone delivering arts and creative learning through collaborative or participatory projects and programmes. Developed by ArtWorks Scotland, the toolkit is made up of a guidance document and a set of downloadable tools.
Evaluating prevention of violence against women and girls Evaluation Support Scotland has been working with projects funded through the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) fund, Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) and other stakeholders. A learning set explored and agreed definitions, outcomes and evaluation methods for preventing violence against women and girls and produced a Practitioner’s Guide.
Scotland’s first dementia conference led by dementia friendly communities For the first time in Scotland, a conference about dementia has been hosted and run by people living with dementia and the communities that support them. The event took place on World Alzheimer’s Day – 21st September, 2016 – and showcased 13 dementia friendly communities. Watch ‘Communities & Dementia’ film.
Global Community Development Exchange The International Association for Community Development, with American and Australian partners, has established the Global Community Development Exchange. This is a place where community development teachers, practitioners and learners can share their teaching and learning approaches, tools and resources. Although planned as a private site with content only available to members of the exchange, at the moment the ‘vault’ of material is open to all and you will only need to register if you want to deposit material – which people are urged to do.
Community Development Practice Community Development Practice is a web-based publication of the US Community Development Society. It presents innovative approaches, tools, and techniques that can be readily applied by community development practitioners, applied researchers and prac-academics. Its current issue looks at ‘A Refreshed Community Development Practice’.
Professional use of social media by community workers Should you accept a ‘friend’ request from a client on Facebook? First in the Australian Community Workers Association’s Professional Practice Series is a guide to professional & ethical social media use.
RESEARCH AND REPORTS
Digital Participation and Social Justice in Scotland Carnegie UK Trust has published a report, Digital Participation and Social Justice in Scotland, which highlights the significant overlap between digital exclusion and other forms of social and economic inequality. It argues that to solve this problem, all organisations delivering services across the public and charitable sectors need to take action to help everyone enjoy the benefits that digital can offer.
The report, which was funded by the Scottish Government, is based on in-depth analysis of the Scottish Household Survey carried out for the Trust by Ipsos MORI. This analysis reveals who is most likely to offline, why this is the case and what might be done to tackle this problem.
DTAS membership survey In its most recent membership survey, Development Trusts Association Scotland has found that communities (in the form of development trusts) directly contribute over £25million towards regeneration activity in Scotland.
Headlines from the survey include:
- 750 employees
- 2,002 volunteer board members
- Aggregated turnover of £46.8million, 42% of which is earned through trading and other income generation streams
- £75.6million worth of assets, owned in a mix of housing, land, forestry, buildings, renewables and others.
Community Led Plans Scottish Community Alliance has carried out ‘A Review of Current Practice in Community Led Plans and their Connection with Spatial Planning’ which looked at why communities choose to produce local plans, how they go about it , what impact these plans have had the extent to which the wider community became engaged in the process and the extent to which the plans were able to influence the formal planning system and community planning partners more widely. Executive summary.
Children, Young People & Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning & Empowering Communities Fund Evaluation This baseline report is part of a formative evaluation which aims to assess whether the overall vision for the Fund, which is intended to enhance the core services and infrastructure of national third sector organisations, is being achieved and to inform future decisions around this area of funding.
Research Report: Prejudice and unlawful behaviour, exploring levers for change This report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission looks at the relationship between prejudice and behaviour. It aims to identify what can be done to prevent and respond to unlawful discrimination, identity-based harassment and violence in England, Scotland and Wales. The report focuses on three areas.
- the relationship between prejudiced attitudes and unlawful discrimination, identity-based harassment and violence
- the prevalence of unlawful behaviour based on prejudiced attitudes
- what is known about how to prevent or respond to unlawful behaviour related to prejudiced attitudes.
Seven out of 10 Scots want to banish prejudice Prejudice based on people’s age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or religion is falling across the board in Scotland. The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: Attitudes to Discrimination 2015 figures also show:
- Almost 70% of Scots feel everything possible should be done to rid Scotland of prejudice of all kinds.
- Almost 90% of people think a woman who has taken a year off after having a baby is equally deserving of promotion as a woman who has not.
- Almost 50% decrease since 2010 in proportion of people who would be unhappy with a close relative marrying or forming a long term relationship with someone of the same sex (down from 30% in 2010 to 16% in 2015).
‘Financial innovation today: Towards economic resilience‘ Alternative finance – crowdfunding, community shares and peer-to-peer lending – is increasingly playing a role in local economic development. New research ‘Financial innovation today: Towards economic resilience‘ from the Bauman Institute in Leeds assesses the potential of decentralised finance. (Article summarising key points)
Consulting on consultations Consultants We are Snook and the Democratic Society have carried out a consultation on how government could use their online resources to help improve consultations run by public bodies. They believe that there should be a much wider range of techniques used than the currently dominant survey-based method: “methodologies such as ideation and deliberative discussion are increasingly being used … around the world”.
Their recommendations include that the Government Digital Service should “create and open and extensible infrastructure for consultation into which consultation tools from in-house or external developers can be plugged”
Benches are beautiful A report, ‘Benches for everyone: solitude in public, sociability for free’ by The Young Foundation finds that benches in our towns and cities, though easily overlooked, play a crucial role in social life. They foster inclusion and help diverse communities to interact. However, increasingly associated with attracting ‘antisocial behaviour’, benches are currently being removed from public spaces. This will disproportionately impact groups for whom other social spaces, such as coffee shops, are not available due to their cost or social codes. Instead of removing benches, people should be encouraged to use them through good planning, design and management of spaces.
The cost-effectiveness of close-to-community health programmes This Global Health Workforce Alliance report argues that critical shortages in the health workforce in many developing countries pose a significant challenge to the achievement of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Increasing attention has therefore been focused on the potential of community health workers (CHWs) to expand access to essential health services, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The term CHW is broad, and CHWs can be defined as health workers who have been trained to some extent but do not possess a formal professional certificate, many live and work in the community. It encompasses a wide range of health workers, paid and unpaid, professional and lay, experienced and inexperienced, including traditional birth attendants, village health workers, peer supporters, community volunteers and health extension workers. The study found ‘promising evidence that they can be cost-effective in certain contexts and under certain circumstances’.
Global Report on Adult Learning The third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III) draws on monitoring surveys completed by 139 UNESCO Member States to develop a picture of the global state of adult learning and education. It evaluates countries’ progress in fulfilling the commitments they made in the Belém Framework for Action, which was adopted at the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education in 2009.
Men’s Sheds: The movement in Scotland & the big picture internationally Thursday, 13 October, 13:00 to 16:30 University of Glasgow, School of Education 5th Floor Common Room 11 Eldon St. Glasgow G3 6NH
Three international visitors with insights into the now international Men’s Shed Movement are in Glasgow. They have teamed up in an event hosted by University of Glasgow with the Scottish Men’s Shed Association, the Glasgow Area Men’s Sheds, the Australian Men’s Shed Association and the International Men’s Shed Organisation to present a Forum to update and explore where and how the Movement has suddenly ‘taken off’ across the UK and Ireland, most recently into Scotland and around Glasgow. This forms part of the CR&DALL Seminar Series 2016-2017.
What is the state of education for democracy in the UK today? 20 October, 12:30 – 14:30, Committee Room G, House Of Commons, London
This talk on campaign training and support for civil society is a free satellite event for the World Forum on Democracy being held from 7 – 9 November at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, which will explore how education and democracy can nurture active citizens with critical and analytical skills, and how through fostering grassroots innovation and bottom-up democratic reform, it can help develop civic engagement and improve opportunities for all.
Engaging communities in decisions relating to land
The Scottish Government Land Reform Team have two forthcoming participatory public events on land reform. These deal in particular with guidance on engaging communities in decisions relating to land and the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement.
Role of Community Learning and Development in creating a fairer Scotland 18 October, 10:30 to 19 October, 15:30, Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld (Prices range from £75.00 to £180.00)
The theme for this year’s conference organised by Community Learning and Development Managers Scotland is ‘The Role of Community Learning and Development in creating a fairer Scotland’. The aim of the event is to explore some of the key principles and approaches CLD should consider when:
- Addressing health inequalities.
- Looking at approaches to employment and employability.
- Engaging and developing the capacity of local people.
- Contributing to the National Improvement Framework and Attainment gap.
The conference will be of interest to staff and managers involved in all sectors of Community Learning and Development, including local authorities, further education, community planning, voluntary and third sector organisations. Find out more here.
Scotland Welcomes Refugees – Impact and Next Steps Wednesday 2 November, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
The conference will mark the beginning of a process to develop the next phase of ‘New Scots’. The current strategy will end in March 2017, and a new strategy will be developed to build on the progress made by New Scots and to expand its scope fully across Scotland.
The conference will bring together representatives of national and local government, the third sector, community groups, refugees and asylum seekers working towards integration in Scotland to share practice, highlight successes and challenges and identify priorities for the next phase of the ‘New Scots’ strategy. There will be an opportunity to hear about integration from national and local perspectives, and a number of practice examples will be presented.
Children in Scotland Annual Conference 2016 – Wellbeing and the world of the child 2-3 November, Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld
This year’s conference focusses on health and wellbeing. Other topics will include building relationships, supporting children where there is alcoholism and addiction in the family, palliative paediatric care, a child’s view of cancer and ensuring children and young people are involved in all decisions which affect them.
Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference Saturday, November 12, 10:00 to 17:00, Aberdeen Town House, Union Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AQ
Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference celebrates public archaeology and showcases community-led projects from across Scotland. The event is open to anyone with an interest in history, heritage or archaeology and includes talks, workshops and networking.