Community Development: What Vision for Scotland?

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On Wednesday, 25 June 2014 the Community Development Alliance Scotland (CDAS), Scottish Community Development Centre and Scottish Community Development Network (SCDN) invited over 100 partners to gather at an all-day conference as a first step toward an ambitious goal: to establish a national dialogue working towards a shared vision for community development.

Conversations and debate took place around key areas of policy and practice where community development can make a difference and how this contribution could be recognised and supported. To assist this, an impressive array of speakers discussed their vision with informed participants. 

Speakers 

Fiona GarvenAlan BarrAlasdair McKinlay

Fiona Garven introduced and chaired the conference, asking participants to share their experiences of community development. Alan Barr, former Director of SCDC, returned to Scotland to give a presentation asking "Community Development - Everyone's Business?", as well as raising some searching questions about the limits of an asset based approach to community interventions. You can read Alan's paper here.

Alasdair McKinlay set out the progress and the contribution of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill and Rory Mair give insights into the likely thinking of the Commission on Local Democracy. 

There was a range of seven workshops exploring key areas of policy and practice such as poverty, health and regeneration, where community development can make a valued difference.

The afternoon included international perspectives provided by Stewart Murdoch and Stuart Hashagen and ended with a lively panel and plenary discussion on taking the vision forward.

Rory MairStewart MurdochStuart Hashagen (left) & Colin Ross

Participants' vision for community development in Scotland

We wanted to capture the visions of participants through a series of workshops. Here's just a few of their ideas.

"We need to work together better. I think that having places for people to meet, share and talk will create a vision. However this has to be underpinned by strategy and actions"

"More long-term involvement in communities. More opportunities to train local people as community ‘agents for change'"

"There are so many communities that are being left out and losing their own voice and don't know how to get this back"

 

We need to work together better. I think that having places for people to meet, share and talk will create a vision. However this has to be underpinned by strategy and actions."
 

"More long-term involvement in communities. More opportunities to train local people as community ‘agents for change'"

"There needs to be a mechanism for practitioners and volunteers to share skills within communities"

"A real investment in genuine partnerships between communities, third sector and public sector service"

 

Next steps

SCDC, CDAS and SCDN will use these discussions to inform further debate with key stakeholders and policy makers on developing a vision for community development in Scotland. We hope you will continue the dialogue in your own communities and workplaces.

Social reporting

These videos were shot on day as part of our social reporting of the event. They feature interviews with the speakers from the day as well as event participants.