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Publication - Report

Developing Performance Indicators for Rural Scotland: A Scoping Study

Published: 18 Mar 2010
ISBN:
978 0 7559 9262 1

Scoping project assessing suitability of existing performance indicators to rural Scotland.

67 page PDF

913.6kB

67 page PDF

913.6kB

Contents
Developing Performance Indicators for Rural Scotland: A Scoping Study
3.0 The National Performance Framework and rural Scotland

67 page PDF

913.6kB

3.0 The National Performance Framework and rural Scotland

3.1 Indicators in the National Performance Framework

This chapter of the report provides an analysis of the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework in order to inform our subsequent analysis of rural performance indicators.

First, however, the current set of 45 indicators and targets included within the National Performance Framework have been assessed for their sensitivity to the needs of rural areas. The results are shown in Table 3.1 set against the five headline strategic objectives established by the Scottish Government:

  • Safer and stronger
  • Wealthier and fairer
  • Smarter
  • Healthier
  • Greener

3.2 Approach to assessing relevance of indicators to rural Scotland

There is not a single 'Rural Strategy' that establishes priorities and themes for rural development (including agriculture) across Scotland. There is, however, the Scotland Rural Development Programme ( SRDP) 2007-2013 which, underpinned by a strategic plan and the programme, identifies a series of strategic outcomes. The outcomes include addressing business viability and competitiveness, biodiversity and landscape, water quality, climate change and wider rural development. The SRDP is monitored against a Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework ( CMEF) applicable to all national programme participants across the EU. The key types of indicators utilised in this CMEF are set out in Annex Two.

The SRDP is an EU programme and whilst there exists scope for national determination of priorities, such as the identified of strategic outcomes for Scotland noted above, these are set within the context of the EU's priorities and the Axes under which funding is made available:

  • Axis 1: Improving competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sectors.
  • Axis 2: Improving the environment and countryside through land management.
  • Axis 3: Improving quality of life through diversification of economic activity.
  • Axis 4: LEADER.

Instead of using the themes in the SRDP, this study has used the key priorities arising from the OECD Review of Rural Scotland report as a means of identifying priority themes for rural Scotland. This OECD report identified the key priorities for Scotland's rural policy listed in Section 1.5.2:

  • Addressing the shortage of rural housing and increasing demand for rural space for multiple use.
  • Service delivery policy and investment strategies tackling education, healthcare and transport across rural areas (and taking account of an ageing population).
  • Opportunities for economic development and diversification looking beyond agriculture.
  • Developing a new approach to greater urban-rural interdependencies.

For the purposes of this study to describe the 'strategic significance to rural Scotland' of the indicators in the National Performance Framework, we have applied a three fold categorisation, and linking this to the OECD work, as well as the key themes highlighted with the Rural Scotland Key Facts, as shown below in Figure 3.2:

Figure 3.2: Criteria for Assessing Indicator Strategic Significance to rural Scotland

Indicator descriptor

Rationale

OECD Key rural priority?

OECD Rural Scotland S/W/O/T?

Rural Scotland Key Facts key theme?

Predominantly Urban

Issue is of greater significance in urban areas.

X

X

X

Nationwide

Issue is potentially equally significant in both urban and rural areas.

v

v/X

X

Predominantly Rural

Issue is of greater significance in rural areas.

v

v

v


3.3 Findings on relevance of indicators

Table 3.1 below provides our assessment of the 45 indicators and their relevance to rural Scotland. Applying these categories to the indicators inevitably involves a degree of subjective judgement and our interpretation is open to debate. This task was been undertaken through discussion with the Scottish Government National Performance Framework Team and a thorough review of the technical notes which support the 45 indicators and targets.

As shown in Table 3.1, four of the indicators are Predominantly Rural and all occur under the Greener strategic objective. That does not mean that these are the most important issues for rural areas. The Nationwide issues include some of the issues to which people will attach the greatest significance wherever they live. It is possible that the nature of the challenge for some of these is different in urban and rural areas.

Table 3.1: Assessing the Indicators in the National Performance Framework and their relevance to rural Scotland

National Strategic Objective

Key Priorities and Themes

National Indicator/Target from Comprehensive Spending Review

Strategic Significance to Rural Scotland

Safer and Stronger

People and Communities

Increase the social economy turnover

Nationwide

Increase the % of adults who rate their neighbourhood as a good place to live

Nationwide

Increase positive public perception of the general crime rate in the local area

Predominantly Urban

Increase the % of criminal cases dealt within 26 weeks by 3 percentage points by 2011

Predominantly Urban

Reduce overall reconviction rates by 2 percentage points by 2011

Predominantly Urban

Reduce overall crime victimisation rates by 2 percentage points by 2011

Predominantly Urban

Decrease the estimated number of problem drug users in Scotland by 2011

Predominantly Urban

Decrease the proportion of individuals living in poverty

Nationwide

Increase the overall proportion of area child protection committees receiving positive inspection reports

Predominantly Urban

All unintentionally homeless households entitled to settled accommodation by 2012

Nationwide

Wealthier and Fairer

Economy and Enterprise

Increase the business start up rate

Nationwide

Increase the rate of new house building

Nationwide

Grow exports at a faster average rate than GDP

Nationwide

Improve public sector efficiency through the generation of 2% cash releasing efficiency savings per annum

Nationwide

Reduce the number of Scottish public bodies by 25% by 2011

Nationwide

Improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services delivered

Nationwide

Reduce the proportion of driver journeys delayed due to traffic congestion

Predominantly Urban

Improve people's perceptions, attitudes and awareness of Scotland's reputation

Nationwide

Smarter

Services and Lifestyle

Increase the percentage of Scottish domiciled graduates from Scottish higher education institutions in positive destinations

Nationwide

Increase the proportion of school leavers (from Scottish publicly funded schools) in positive and sustained destinations ( FE, HE, employment or training)

Predominantly Urban

Increase the proportion of schools receiving positive inspection reports

Nationwide

Reduce the number of working age people with severe literacy and numeracy problems

Nationwide

Increase the proportion of pre-school centres receiving positive inspection reports

Nationwide

At least halve the gap in total research and development spending compared with EU average by 2011

Predominantly Urban

Improve knowledge transfer from research activity in universities

Predominantly Urban

Healthier

Services and Lifestyle

Improve the quality of healthcare experience

Nationwide

Increase the average score of adults on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale by 2011

Nationwide

Increase healthy life expectancy at birth in the most deprived areas

Predominantly Urban

Reduce the percentage of the adult population who smoke to 22% by 2010

Predominantly Urban

Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions by 2011

Predominantly Urban

60% of school children in Primary 1 will have no signs of dental disease by 2010

Nationwide

Reduce the rate of increase in the proportion of children with their Body Mass Index out with a healthy range by 2018

Nationwide

Achieve annual milestones for reducing inpatient or day case waiting times culminating in delivery of an 18 week referral to treatment times from December 2011

Nationwide

Reduce the proportion of people aged 65 and over admitted as emergency inpatients two or more times a single year

Nationwide

Reduce mortality from coronary heart disease among the under 75s in deprived areas

Predominantly Urban

Increase the percentage of people aged 65 and over with high levels of care needs who are cared for at home

Nationwide

Greener

People and communities

Increase to 95% the proportion of protected nature sites in favourable condition

Predominantly Rural

Improve the state of Scotland's Historic Buildings, monuments and environment

Predominantly Rural

Biodiversity: increase the index of abundance of terrestrial breeding birds

Predominantly Rural

Increase the proportion of journeys to work made by public or active transport

Predominantly Urban

Increase the proportion of adults making one or more visits to the outdoors per week

Nationwide

50% of electricity generated in Scotland to come from renewable sources by 2020 (interim target of 31% by 2011)

Nationwide

Reduce overall ecological footprint

Nationwide

Reduce to 1.32 million tonnes of waste sent to landfill by 2010

Predominantly Urban

Ensure 70% key commercial fish stocks at full reproductive capacity and harvested sustainably by 2015

Predominantly Rural

3.4 Conclusion

This chapter has assessed the relevance of the Indicators in the National Performance Framework to rural Scotland using a three part categorisation. The analysis of the 45 indicators in the Scottish Government National Performance Framework found that the majority of the indicators (25) could be classified as nationwide, 16 predominantly related to urban areas and four predominantly rural. Although there is some subjectivity around classifying the indicators, considering the number of nationwide and predominantly rural indicators, it can be concluded that the National Performance Framework contains many indicators that are relevant to rural Scotland.


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