Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs) are a mechanism that it is argued will deliver key national and local priorities based on a new relationship between central and local government in Scotland. SOAs are to be developed and implemented through partnership working exercised by Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs). A survey of the first (2008) SOA participants from local authorities and their Community Planning partners was conducted in 2008, with a particular focus on the interrelationships between the 2008 SOA development process and partnership working at the local level. Findings of this study suggest that there was a positive link between the strength of existing CPPs and partner engagement in the 2008 SOA development. However, partner engagement in the 2008 SOA development process did not affect survey respondents' confidence that the ongoing SOA development and implementation will strengthen partnership working in the long -term. This study also suggests that in addition to the practical difficulties such as limited time and staff resources, mistrust between local partners, and local players' scepticism about the central government's intention to free up local government may be barriers to the success of the SOA. Overall, respondents in this study showed realistic but hopeful attitudes to what the SOA was about and what could be achieved through it over time. The information gathered through this study should be merited as baseline data which captured the SOA participants' early experience and expectations. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
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