Caledonia Centre for Social
Summary of the Centre’s 2005 Activities
? Co-Govern Project: An Africa – Europe Exchange on Common Property Rights
? Common Property Rights – Commonweal of Scotland Project ? Web Publishing
? Who Owns Scotland Project
? Land Rights Programme
? Responses to Government and International Consultations
? Technical Cooperation Partnerships
? Other Caledonia-related Activities and Assignments
The Caledonia Centre for Social Development is a small, virtual, and non-profit
distributing section 30 Company based in Scotland. Membership is drawn from those
actively working in the field of social development. The activities of the Centre are
focused on a limited number of programmes and projects agreed by the Board of
Directors. The Centre has no paid staff and its activities are all carried out voluntarily
or as part of the self-employed business of its members.
During 2005 members financial tithes to the Centre amounted to ?1,110 GBP while
labour tithes amounted to 91 days. Labour tithes were donated to the following
activities: Who Owns Scotland project - 20 days; Popularisation of the Land Reform
Act – 9 days; Commonweal Project – 3 days; Web-publishing and management – 32
days; technical cooperation partnerships – 16 days; and peer review, consultations and project development – 11 days.
Co-Govern Project: An Africa – Europe Exchange on Common Property Rights
During 2005 Caledonia participated in Co-Govern, a 3-year European Union-funded project in partnership with the International Institute for Environment and
Development (IIED) (www.iied.org) and five other organisations (3 African and 2
European). The project has three main objectives:
? to examine the changing status and availability of common property
resources (CPR) in three regions of Africa – East, West and Southern;
? to engage with decision-makers to discuss policy options for the use and
management of common property resources in the light of current
processes of legislative and policy change; and
? to communicate ideas on common property resources management though
networking, exchange, dialogue and analysis.
This project came to an end in May 2005 and the proceedings of the October 2004
Nakuru workshop have been published in Securing the commons in an era of
privatisation: policy and legislative challenges. Summary conclusions of the second
international workshop of the Co-Govern network, Nakuru, Kenya, 25-28 October
2004. Copies are available at: http://www.iied.org/pubs/search.php?s=STC&p=1
Common Property Rights – Commonweal of Scotland Project
In early 2002 the Centre launched its Commonweal of Scotland project. This initiative seeks to document and publish a series of working papers on aspects of common
property rights and their management in Scotland. In recent years the topic has
received little attention from researchers, civil society and policy makers.
The Centre published Common Good Land. A Review and Critique by Andy Wightman and James Perman. This received substantial coverage in the media and
has been successful in energising a latent debate about the status, role and future of
common good land in Scotland’s former burghs. Copies available at:
The Centre runs 3 of the largest UK-based land rights websites. The main land
website is devoted to land reform and land tenure issues and holds information on Scottish and international perspectives www.caledonia.org.uk/land. The second website is devoted to social land ownership issues and holds feature articles, ideas and case studies relating to the growth and development of non-profit distributing
property associations www.caledonia.org.uk/socialland. Both these web sites were launched in June 1999 and continue to receive a modest but steady stream of visits.
The third website is devoted to common property rights issues and was launched in 2002 www.caledonia.org.uk/commonweal
All three sites prioritise the gathering and publishing of grey and popular literature on
land reform, social ownership and common property rights. During the course of the
year: 20 new articles were published on the Land Reform site; 6 new articles on the
Socialland site and 3 on the Commonweal site.
The Centre on its gateway website – www.caledonia.org.uk - carries feature articles and material on: the co-operative and social economy; poverty reduction; popular
participation and self-development; new localism; and countervailing power. This year 12 new articles were published: 9 on cooperatives; 2 on countervailing power;
and 1 on poverty.
During the year revisions and updates were made to the aims and services section of
the Centre’s gateway site as a means of upgrading the site’s contents in preparation
for the commissioning of a dedicated Caledonia JustGiving donation page. To further
enhance the development and improve site access a re-classification of web-published
article was undertaken including upgrading the site’s search facility to a Google-based
operation. Each of the main sections headings is now linked to the website’s front
Both the main Caledonia website and the land reform site operate updating newsfeed
sections. This service provides a global selection of breaking and on-going news
coverage about poverty reduction, international development and land reform
activities, issues and events.
Who Owns Scotland Project
During the year, the Centre continued its involvement as a partner in this project to
document the ownership of land in Scotland. The www.whoownsscotland.org.uk
website is being developed by one of the Caledonia Directors, Andy Wightman, and
continues to attract widespread interest from across the world. As of 31 December
2005, the website was continuing to attract an average of over 4,000 visitors per week.
During 2005, we published a further 62 holdings on the site covering a total of
203,267 hectares. A total of 1,329 private land holdings are currently on the website.
This accounts for just over 3 million hectares of rural land (45.8 percent of all
privately owned land).
Land Rights Programme
During 2005, the Centre was successful in obtaining funding from the Carnegie
United Kingdom Trust and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to develop a 1 year
programme to promote the Community Right to Buy (CRB) provisions of the Land
Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. The programme was designed to increase awareness of
the new rights conferred by the Act and to provide advice and support to all who
wished it. The project was implemented through a series of activities and a website
www.landreformact.com was published to facilitate these.
Responses to Government Consultations
During the year the Centre responded to 2 Government consultations – Highlands and
Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) new 5-year strategic plan and UK-DFID’s new 3-year
strategic partnership with UNIFEM.
The HIE submission took the form of a short paper titled: The Cargo Cult – Alive and
well in the Scottish Highlands. The paper contrasted 35 years of inward investment
industrial estate building in the Scottish Highlands and the highly transient nature of
its occupants with endogenous local economic development approaches undertaken in
rural China, the Basque country of Spain, Northern Italy and the labour unions in
Quebec province, Canada. The article was carried on the Rural Gateway and SenScot
websites where it received over 1,500 hits.
The Centre prepared a short response to the DFID-UNIFEM consultation in which it
highlighted the need for UNIFEM to shift away from small scale ad hoc activities on
gender and women’s productive activities and move to a more strategic role of
engaging and support global civil society apex bodies such as the those representing
trade unions and cooperatives. Technical Cooperation Partnerships Tanzanian Technical Cooperation Partnership on National Policy Popularisation The Centre is providing technical assistance to an innovative Tanzanian social justice
NGO – Hakikazi Catalyst (www.hakikazi.org). Hakikazi works to promote the use of
plain language in the popularisation of national policies. This is cutting edge policy
popularisation work with countrywide coverage.
As well as communicating throughout the year via email and Yahoo Messenger
George Clark visited Tanzania from 22 February to 4 April 2005. Amongst other
things this allowed detailed work on the following publications:
The Hakikazi Website was radically redesigned – www.hakikazi.org
The Shorter ASDS: an abridged and updated version of Tanzania’s Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (Published Feb 2005)
Pastoralism in Tanzania's policy framework - a review of national, sectoral and
cross sectoral policies and how to influence them. (Booklet 1 of 3): Pastoralism and the Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP) (booklet 2 of 3): Pastoralism and Tanzania's National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) (booklet
3 of 3) (First drafts March 2005)
Poverty in Pictures: A collection of well over one hundred Hakikazi cartoons
arranged by NSGRP cluster categories. (First draft April 2005)
Enterprise and Trade: a plain language guide to Tanzania’s National Trade Policy and Small and Medium Enterprise and Development Policy (Published May 2005)
Growing out of poverty: a plain language guide to Tanzania’s National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty - Mkukuta (Published June 2005)
Other Caledonia-related Activities and Assignments
George Clark attended the Africa Commission meeting in the Scottish Parliament
Building on 16 May and Wightman, Boyd and Clark attended the SenScot Annual
General Meeting on 17 June where Wightman made a presentation on land ownership
and the social economy.
Graham Boyd provided 5 days of donated technical assistance to the Tanzania
Federation of Cooperatives. The time was spent assisting the Federation’s Education,
Publicity and Training section prepare a grant application to the BEST (Business
Environment Strengthening for Tanzania) program. The application sought to create a
country-wide popularisation and dissemination project for cooperatives and other
supporting actors on the country’s new cooperative policy and laws.