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Since 2018 a group of organisations have been meeting to discuss and explore an inquiry into Social Action.

The initial conversations were inspired by the Civil Society Futures Inquiry which took place in England.

The organisations agreed to invest in an independent inquiry for Scotland, that will launch in 2021.

Who is involved? 

The Inquiry is being set up by a partnership of organisations: Carnegie UK Trust; Corra Foundation; Foundation Scotland; the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); The National Lottery Community Fund; and The Robertson Trust.

The partners will continue to support the Inquiry and be alongside the people who take it forward, however they will step back and not seek to control it.

Who will lead this work?

The partners are looking to find two people (Co-chairs) to work together to run the Inquiry.

In the next few weeks, the partners will also start recruiting a Social Action Inquiry Panel of up to ten people to help guide, shape and support the Inquiry.

The Co-chairs and Panel will include people with direct, lived experience as part of communities who have felt that they do not hold power over decisions affecting their own lives, but that this has been held by others. This might be, for example, experience of childhood trauma, homelessness, disability, poverty, or coming from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic community.

There will also be an Inquiry Lead who will support the Co-chairs and Panel and help deliver the work of the Inquiry.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the Social Action Inquiry and hear about ways to get involved please email your details to 

The original timeline for the inquiry was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the partners quickly moved to commission a focused piece of research to learn from social action that was prompted by the crisis.  The research will highlight the ways local communities have come together throughout the coronavirus crisis and help to inform the direction of the Social Action Inquiry. Find out more about the research here:

Picture of grafitti under bridge that reads 'let's love our community'