Views from rural communities sought

Norette Ferns

Researchers are looking for your views about wellbeing, local issues and quality of life in Scottish communities.

Social scientists at the James Hutton Institute and Scotland's Rural College are carrying out an online survey as part of a drive to improve currently-available data and inform policy development and implementation. 

The survey covers the following topics:

  • what stakeholders perceive to be the most important issues and subjects which affect Scotland’s rural areas and small towns, and whether data is available to measure them at the local level
  • how stakeholders use and analyse data about places and people, and how existing online resources for viewing and accessing data and maps can be improved

The survey is available at

The wider research project on place-based policy and rural Scotland aims to improve current understanding of

  • the main reasons for differences in economic performance and social outcomes across rural areas and small towns of Scotland
  • how policies can help to deliver positive outcomes and address these disparities

Jonathan Hopkins, a researcher of the Institute's Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group in Aberdeen, said:

"The size of the ‘evidence base’ required for place-based policy in Scotland could be very large, as a wide range of issues affect people and society.

"Researchers need to consult practitioners, policymakers, community groups and other stakeholders to identify the most important issues which affect Scotland’s rural areas and small towns"

The work is funded by the Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government, within the RESAS Strategic Research Programme 2016-2021.

Visit the James Hutton Institute website to find out more.