Kaela Scott

Scotland Engagement Lead

Kaela is Involve’s Engagement Lead for Scotland and will be responsible for developing programmes and opportunities that help inform best practice in public participation across Scotland.

Kaela is an experienced facilitator and public engagement practitioner with a keen interest in promoting effective models of participatory decision making: in the interests of social justice, democratic accountability and, fundamentally, to deliver better, more credible governance.

She has come to Involve after 13 years of working in Scottish local government – in roles spanning arts outreach, youthwork, community development, capacity building, public engagement and local community planning. Her most recent post was as part of the Community Planning team at East Lothian Council where she was responsible for establishing and supporting local partnership structures designed to involve communities directly in planning for the future of their area. Here she developed a grounded understanding of the complex practical, political and policy work required to translate the impetus to involve citizens in the decisions that affect them into processes that are meaningful and effective for communities, public sector bodies and political administrations alike.

Before moving to Scotland in 2000 Kaela completed Honours degrees in Sociology and English Literature at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. More recently, she undertook a Masters in Community Education at Edinburgh University (2011) which explored tensions between the political drive for greater community empowerment and the realities of supporting communities to use these opportunities well.

Blog posts

Beyond Buzzword Bingo: opening up the language of Open Government

December 16, 2016

Open Government has its own buzzwords – open data, transparency, accountability, participation, scrutiny, anti-corruption, freedom of information, open contracting, digital commons etc. Just like any other policy community this shared language unites those involved, but from the outside it can appear to set a somewhat technocratic and procedural agenda. As someone relatively new to the…

Read moreAdd a comment

Bringing public voices into parliamentary business

November 30, 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to the Commission on Parliamentary Reform, at the Scottish Parliament, about opportunities for widening and deepening public participation in parliamentary processes. This independent Commission was set up in October 2016 to look at how Parliament can engage better with the people of Scotland and how its work…

Read moreAdd a comment

Opening the lid on Open Government in Scotland

August 30, 2016

One of the key challenges for the Open Government Network in Scotland is opening up the open government agenda to wider civil society, in ways that encourage open government to be understood as a movement for change, rather than a technocratic process. All too often the language associated with Open Government (data, open-contracting, anti-corruption, scrutiny…

Read moreAdd a comment

Open Contracting: promoting transparency in public procurement

April 19, 2016

From stationary supplies to major infrastructure projects like roads, schools and hospitals governments across the world are increasingly looking to the private sector to supply goods and services to their citizens. With the global value of this sort of outsourced procurement by the public sector now exceeding US$9.5 trillion each year (15% of global GDP)[i]…

Read moreAdd a comment

Strengthening the Scottish Open Government Network

February 27, 2016

On the 17th February Involve, the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and the Scottish Government held an Open Government workshop at The Gathering 2016 - Scotland’s largest annual Third Sector event. Opening this year’s Gathering First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke about the Scottish Government’s commitment to Open Government, and stated that the Open Government…

Read moreAdd a comment

Planning, place-making and a seeming passion for decorative planters…

February 12, 2016

I recently heard Alex Neil MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights) speaking at the Built Environment Forum Scotland’s annual public lecture Planning for Wellbeing about the role ‘place’ has in creating a Fairer Scotland. Emphasising the importance of communities being empowered to lead the place-making agenda he called on communities to become…

Read moreAdd a comment

A milestone event in the journey towards a Fairer Scotland

January 21, 2016

On the 14th January staff from Involve, working alongside colleagues from DemSoc, hosted a stakeholder event for the Scottish Government’s Fairer Scotland programme. Launched in June last year the Fairer Scotland programme is, in essence, a nationwide civic conversation initiated by the Scottish Government to inform the development of Scotland’s Social Justice Action Plan, due…

Read moreAdd a comment

paths crossing

Introducing Involve’s new Engagement Lead for Scotland

November 25, 2015

My name is Kaela Scott and I joined involve in November 2015 as their Engagement Lead for Scotland. This is a new post, not just for me but for the organisation as well, and I am thrilled to be in a position to help shape Involve’s contribution towards embedding increased public participation and a culture…

Read moreAdd a comment