The Action Research Collective, part of the ESRC funded Jam & Justice project, has just returned from a peer exchange in Glasgow hosted by our Scottish partner, Dr. Oliver Escobar, University of Edinburgh, What Works Scotland Co-Director. The aim of the visit was two-fold:
- To meet with colleagues from What Works Scotland who focus on public service reform and change, and are involved in a similar collaborative ‘learn, test and do’ research project. This would enable us to share learning, reflect on our progress to date and discuss the potential legacies for each of our projects.
- To meet with people and organisations from across Scotland working in projects similar to our ARC projects, to share learning, take inspiration, and gain practical peer support.
The three day exchange had a busy agenda. Highlights included mini Pecha Kucha presentations from the group on our different projects; a visit to Leith Theatre in Edinburgh to see the Vox Liminis Distant Voices album launch – a collaboration of Scotland’s finest songwriters and people who have first-hand experience of the criminal justice system; and a site visit to Pollokshields Trust a community organisation supporting community empowerment. The latter included a guest presentation from the Director of Soul Riders Scotland, a community-led initiative using a cycle scheme to bring diverse groups together.
Both groups agreed that the exchange had been productive as it allowed the exploration of commonality and difference in the range of dilemmas and challenges faced in Greater Manchester and Scottish contexts and strategies/approaches taken to cope with them. They are now hoping to develop the relationship further through attendance at the What Works Scotland Conference in November and the Jam and Justice final conference next year.