Caledonia Centre for Social Development
Summary of the Centre's 2006 and 2007 Activities
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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.
Due to the low level of member activity during the last two years no dedicated annual summary was produced. However, a joint 2006-7 summary of the Centre's activities has been prepared. It covers the following six main areas: the Commonweal/Scottish Commons Project; the Who Owns Scotland Project; the Popularisation of Part two of the Land Reform Act Project; web-publishing for Popular education, social solidarity and the Internet Project; responding to Scottish/UK government and international consultations on social development; and contributing to Technical Co-operation partnerships.
Financial and Labour Tithes
During 2006 members financial tithes to the Centre amounted to £975 GBP while labour tithes amounted to 69 days. Labour tithes were donated to the following activities: Who Owns Scotland project - 8 days; Popularisation of the Land Reform Act - 12 days; Commonweal Project - 3 days; Web-publishing and management - 30 days; technical cooperation partnerships - 10 days; and peer review, consultations and project development - 6 days.
While in 2007 members financial tithes to the Centre amounted to £775 GBP with labour tithes amounting to 41 days. Labour tithes were donated to the following activities: Who Owns Scotland project - 4 days; Commonweal Project - 19 days; Web-publishing and management - 14 days; and peer review, consultations and project development - 4 days.
Commonweal/Scottish Commons Project
The main activity during the last two years was the transfer of the Commonweal web information about common property rights to a new standalone website, www.scottishcommons.org . This new site provides detailed information on Common Good and other forms of commons. The site went live in December 2007 and provides a focus for community based research and advocacy through making information and analysis available. A more formal and media focussed launch is planned in 2008.
In 2008 work will focus on generating a higher profile for this project, particularly in connection with Common Good which continues to generate a significant level of interest. We will seek funding to extend the information, training and capacity building particularly at community level.
Who Owns Scotland Project
A major development during the last two years was the final termination of our relationship with the Ordnance Survey (OS) and the consequent removal of all OS mapping from the website. This is being replaced by digital OS quarter inch mapping that has been sourced from the National Library of Scotland. It should be noted that OS were in breach of contract in terminating the licence to use its mapping and in 2008, Andy Wightman will be making a formal complaint to OS and investigating possible legal remedies.
Statistics on web-traffic have been neglected for a few years but in November 2007, the project signed-up for Google Analytics which should provide detailed information on visitors.
In May 2007, an additional 28 landholdings (558,902 acres) were added to the website increasing coverage from 47.5 percent of privately-owned rural land to 51 percent.
Popularisation of Part two of the Land Reform Act Project (PopLand)
During 2007, the first two (of a planned set of 8) case studies were published (Seton Fields and Kinghorn). The third case study (Neilston) was commissioned in September 2007. In February 2007 one edition of the newsletter was published and the Final Report on the project was also prepared. While in March 2007, the Centre published a Two Year Review of the Land Reform Act which was web-published on the PopLand site.
During 2008, it is in tended that a day a month will be spent maintaining and expanding the website: www.landreformact.com .
Web-publishing for Popular Education, Social Solidarity and the Internet
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. In 2007 the commonweal website www.caledonia.org.uk/commonweal was re-branded The Scottish Commons and re-launched as www.scottishcommons.org
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 last 2 years: 5 new articles were published on the Land Reform site; and 1 new article on the Socialland 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. During last two years 17 new articles were published: 8 on cooperatives; 6 on the social economy; 2 on poverty; and 1 on countervailing power.
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.
Responses to Government and International Consultations on Social Development
During the last couple of years the Centre has limited its contributions to government and international consultation documents on social development. This is due to a lack of members' availability to devote time to these consultations. The Centre instead has sought whenever possible to contribute through NIDOS (Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland) as an alternative to submitting its own comments. However the Centre in 2007 did make a submission to the Scottish Parliament on the new Scottish International Development policy.
Technical Cooperation Partnerships and Other Caledonia-related Activities and Assignments
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.
During 2006-7 work was done (using mail (DHL), email, phone and Yahoo Messenger) on the following publications:
The Hakikazi website was maintained and additions published to various resource and information pages.
In 2007 Graham Boyd provided 5 days of donated technical assistance to Hakikazi as a peer reviewer on the Mkurabita workshop and plain language guide.
Other Caledonia-related Activities and Assignments
During the last two years Graham Boyd has provided 16 days of donated technical assistance to the Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives (TFC). The time was spent assisting the Federation's Education, Publicity and Training section prepare 3 grant applications: HIV/AIDS and the World of Cooperators; Cooperatives and Telecoms; and the Popularisation of the 2003 Cooperative Laws and Regulations for Dunduliza Savings and Credit Cooperatives. In addition technical assistance was provided to TFC on the preparation of the terms of reference for commissioning consultants to review and prepare the organisation's new 5 year strategic plan.
During 2006 George Clark worked with the Tanzania poverty research institution - REPOA - where he drafted the summary documents for the main chapters of Tanzania's Poverty and Human Development Report (2005). Also during March 2006 George attended the WEA Development Education Workshop & Exhibition in Inverness.
During September 2006 George responded to a query from Companies House on the Centre's 2005 Annual Accounts. He also led the work which resulted in shifting the Centre's financial report to SORP compliant annual accounts which are in compliance with both Companies House and OSCR.