Report: Knowledge is Power – A new report on the importance of community-led action research in Scotland

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As active supporters of community-led research, Moray Wellbeing Hub welcomes the publication of the ‘Knowledge is Power‘ report and it’s key findings, especially those around finding resources for supporting people to take part in research. Redressing power imbalances is a core component to supporting good health and sense of self, it may seem research can be for other’s benefits, but we have learned it benefits ourselves as we improve our insight through approaches like reflective practice. If you are interested in learning more about how we gather evidence for change in Moray, then consider becoming a Champion and learning first hand how this can work.

‘Community-led action research is not research for the sake of it, to prove a theory or to satisfy the curious. It is about people asking their own questions about the issues they experience, getting the information, and evidence they need, and testing actions for change.’

Starting in 2017, SCDC (the Scottish Community Development Centre) and the Poverty Alliance worked with ten community organisations to co-design a resource framework which could be used to support communities across Scotland to conduct their own inquiries into the issues affecting them.

You can download the report here. Kate McHendry, Development Manager at SCDC, has also reflected on her work using community-led action research and the findings of this new report.

The key recommendations of the report are to:

  • Establish a new cross-sector alliance to co-ordinate and manage the resource
  • Create a locus for access to practical resources, and for centralising research evidence
  • Develop a cohort of skilled practitioners and trainers in action research, drawn from community organisations across Scotland
  • Establish a fund for communities to pay for participation costs associated with their inquiries
  • Develop a peer-led learning network
  • Create spaces and opportunities for communities and decision makers to share and deliberate research findings as a way of informing local actions and national priorities

SCDC and the Poverty Alliance will now be approaching funders with the primary objective of securing start-up and development costs.

In the meantime, if you have any comments on the report, or want to help us turn these ideas into action, the SCDC would be delighted to hear from you!  You can download an executive summary here.

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