A call for capacity building

Report coverCHEX has helped to produce a new report exploring the Community Empowerment Act from a public health perspective. A key recommendation is that support is required to equip both public health staff and communities to participate in the empowerment opportunities offered by the Act.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 aims to empower community bodies through the ownership of land and buildings and having more influence over decisions that matter to them. This project, which was led by ScotPHN (Scottish Public Health Network) focused on parts 3 and 5 of the Act - participation requests and asset transfer requests. The research consisted of a literature review, interviews with community organisation members and public health staff, and analysed public body annual reports. CHEX was a member of the project group.

Recommendations for public health include:

  • ongoing staff and community training (formal and informal) around the Act in the context of raising awareness about participation and asset transfer options more generally;
  • tailored and targeted support to those submitting requests in the context of wider community capacity building efforts;
  • strategic, clear and straightforward processes co-ordinated across partners, which cover all aspects of implementation including asset transfer ‘aftercare’, how to support community organisation members through an outcome improvement process and promote shared learning; and
  • transparent and robust assessments of requests coordinated across partners and assessment decision outcomes which encourage ongoing collaboration with communities.


Download the report here


CHEX (and our parent body SCDC) will be considering how best to use the report's findings in our own work around the Act and will also use it to inform our ongoing contribution to Public Health Reform in Scotland. Make sure you're subscribed to CHEX's mailing lists in order to hear more about our work in both these areas.

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