The Scottish approach to evidence – new report

The Carnegie UK Trust is pleased to launch The Scottish approach to evidence: a discussion paper, written jointly by the Carnegie UK Trust and the Alliance for Useful Evidence, which explores whether there is, or should be, a distinctly Scottish approach to evidence for social policy.
As highlighted in the Carnegie UK Trust’s Enabling State research, Scotland, in common with other jurisdictions of the UK and Ireland, is moving toward public service delivery models which are more participative, flexible and responsive. While such models present new opportunities to tackle complex social issues they also present challenges for policymakers and practitioners in gathering, producing and using robust and accessible evidence about what works.
This paper draws on a roundtable discussion with senior stakeholders from academia, policy, the public and third sector in Scotland. It argues that there is a clear Scottish approach to public policy, characterised by the outcomes approach of the National Performance Framework and a policy focus on the empowerment of citizens and communities.
It calls for new approaches to evidence to keep pace with this policy direction and argues that there is an opportunity for Scotland to learn from elsewhere about what works and, to be at the forefront of research and understanding about how best to deliver more ‘enabling’ public services that improve lives.
The paper is intended to stimulate discussion. Please do get in touch with Jenny Brotchie, Policy Officer, Carnegie UK Trust at or Pippa Coutts, Project Manager, Alliance for Useful Evidence at if you have any comments or ideas.
The Carnegie UK Trust hopes you find the report of interest.