Stakeholder views on the small area-level evidence base for place-based policy in Scotland

Jonathan Hopkins, Ruth Wilson, J Atterton, Andrew Copus

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefResearch report

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This report describes results from a survey, which delivered insights into
how to improve the accessibility of the ‘evidence base’ of information about
Scottish communities.

Stakeholders perceive economic, transport, housing and service access issues
as most important to their local area, but also recognised issues related to
community strength and personal wellbeing. The lower awareness of available
local area-level data representative of the latter, and the broader interest in
several issues, supports the need to publish small area-indicators related to
several types of wellbeing, including more subjective issues.

Associations between respondents’ backgrounds, experience with data use
and analysis, and awareness of local-level data representing key issues,
emphasise the need for data publishers to seriously consider the accessibility
and usability of resources, in addition to publishing large volumes of reusable
information. Removing barriers to accessing and understanding information
about communities is essential, in the context of place-based policies and
local initiatives.

Online resources for accessing data should cater for users with diverse
experience, and different needs: some users may need to view information for
the location they are interested in, while others may need to retrieve data for
more detailed analysis or produce maps. There is a need for improved
communication, both in terms of interface design and the language used, and
clarity over the areas which indicators have been calculated for.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

This report should be cited as: Hopkins, J., Wilson, R., Atterton, J., & Copus, A. (2019). Stakeholder views on the small area-level evidence base for place-based policy in Scotland. RESAS RD3.4.2: Place-based policy and rural Scotland, questionnaire report.


  • place-based policy
  • place-based approaches
  • rural policy
  • community development


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