Caledonia Centre for Social Development

By Laurie Elliott,2014-05-13 12:58
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Caledonia Centre for Social Development

    Caledonia Centre for Social


    Summary of the Centre’s 2005 Activities

    May 2006


    ? Introduction

    ? 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) ( 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:

    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:

Web Publishing

    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 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 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

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 - 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

    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 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 ( 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

    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.


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