What Works Scotland explores community anchor organisations
What Works Scotland (WWS) has published a think piece on community anchor organisations, exploring their potential to be a part of improving services and community planning in Scotland. WWS is a collaborative between the Scottish Government, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow.
The paper identifies community anchor organisations as including community development trusts, community-led housing associations and community-led health organisations. It describes these organisations as having valuable experience of providing local services, organising economic and community development activities and advocating for community interests. These organisations, the paper continues, can help meet diverse local needs and improve democratic participation. Recommendations include that the public sector, including Community Planning Partnerships, invest in, and develop stronger partnerships with, the community sector - creating a distinct ‘Scottish approach' to public service reform.
SCDC agrees that the community sector has an important contribution to make to public services and community planning. Organisations that are made up of and led by community members, represent the wider community and are equipped with the skills and resources to help address community priorities have the most potential to contribute to improving services and to tackling inequalities. However, it is also the case that, in many of Scotland's most disadvantaged communities, community organisations can face additional challenges and as a result can be more fragile and less influential. It is important that appropriate levels of support and resources are targeted to such communities to ensure that local people are involved in developing the right solutions for them and their communities.
For more from SCDC and CHEX on the above and related policy and practice issues, you can download the following resources: