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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

SCVO Policy Network: evidence-based policymaking in Scotland with Paul Cairney

13:00-14:00, 28 May 2024
This event took place today
Kyrstie Brown
0131 474 8000
Policy and influencing

A session with Professor Paul Cairney on evidence-based policymaking in Scotland.


Understanding the reality of evidence use in policymaking, and the approach employed in Scotland, is important for any policy professional in the voluntary sector seeking to contribute to, shape, and influence policies at a local and national level. For example, people may seek ‘evidence-based policymaking’ but is it an accurate and desirable description of the policy process? Does it describe how decisions are made in Scotland? 

To help answer these questions, we have invited Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, to share his expertise on the theory, practice, and politics of evidence-based policymaking in Scotland. 

In the first half of the session, Paul Cairney will provide an overview of a common question asked by researchers seeking policy influence: why do policymakers often seem to ignore my evidence, and how can I respond? He then identifies key aspects of a ‘Scottish approach’ to evidence use. In the second half, there will be a brief Q&A followed by an open discussion on how policy professionals can better understand and influence policy processes in Scotland.

Who was the event aimed at?

This session is open to members of SCVO’s Policy Network. Places are limited and registration is essential.

This event will be recorded for Policy Network members who are unable to attend the session. 

Joining the Policy Network and attending Policy Network events are an exclusive benefit we offer to organisations with an SCVO membership. To join the SCVO Policy Network or check your eligibility please email

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