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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
4.0 Indicators from other strategies relevant to rural Scotland

67 page PDF

913.6kB

4.0 Indicators from other strategies relevant to rural Scotland

4.1 Identifying indicators from other strategies and policy documents

This chapter brings together our analysis of indicators from a variety of strategies and policies relevant to rural Scotland. The purpose is to summarise a set of indicators already in use which would be useful to consider as performance indicators for rural Scotland and to assess the source of data used.

Supplementing the National Performance Framework are many strategies in specific policy areas containing indicators- health, lifelong learning, housing, forestry etc. The study team undertook a review of strategy documents produced in recent years across the government sector in Scotland in order to identify performance indicators that might complement those in the National Performance Framework. These strategy documents (up to and including 2008) are listed in Annex Three. Several of these documents were produced before the National Performance Framework but it is nonetheless possible to link them to the strategic objectives, as shown in the table.

Table 4.1 is based upon a reading of the strategy documents listed in Annex Three. In addition to the indicators described in the strategies the study team also made use of some official sources that present key statistics: Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2006, the Scottish Health Survey, reports from Future Skills Scotland, and Rural Scotland Key Facts.

The table lists 62 indicators that supplement the indicators in the National Performance Framework. The indicators are assessed for their suitability in the rural context. It should be noted that we have used only indicators that are already in use in the Scottish Government or its agencies (or indicators that are in development) and which therefore come from official sources. We have not explored alternative sources.

4.2 Approach to assessing other indicators

Table 4.1 sets out the list of potential indicators which could be considered as performance indicators to monitor progress in rural Scotland. The purpose of the table is to examine how well each indicator meets the criteria to be a good performance indicator. The following paragraphs describe the purpose of the columns in the table.

4.2.1 National Strategic Objective and Key Theme

The indicators have been arranged by the National Strategic Objective to which they are most closely associated (rather than listing them by source document) and to this we have added a Theme as described in Section 1.5.3 or in documents such as Rural Scotland Key Facts.

4.2.2 Relevance to rural Scotland

The assessment of relevance of indicators was raised in Section 3.1 and the same approach is used in this chapter:

  • Predominantly urban - where an indicator/issue is considered to be more significant an issue in urban rather than rural areas.
  • Nationwide - where an indicator/issue is considered to have broadly the same significance in both urban and rural areas.
  • Predominantly rural - where the indicator/issue is of greater significance in rural areas.

This approach involves some subjective judgements but it does provide the basis for debate.

4.2.3 Source of Indicator and Statistical Source

Most of the indicators are drawn from the strategy documents listed in Annex Three. Most (though not all) of these documents have an annex or footnotes that describe the statistical sources for the proposed indicator. Table 4.1 lists both the strategy document and the survey that is the source for the data. One or two indicators that have been proposed have yet to be developed. Knowing the survey that provides the data is a crucial guide to its quality but also as an indication of the geographic detail available and how frequently it can be monitored.

4.2.4 Geographic detail

If an indicator is to be used for monitoring performance of rural Scotland it needs to be available with some geographic detail, ideally making use of the Scottish Government Urban-Rural classification. The table identifies the lowest geographical level at which the data is published ( e.g. the 6-fold classification). In some cases because of the size of the sample or because the events monitored are very rare it may be possible to report the results using only the 3-fold classification. Some sources especially administrative data may be available only using administrative (local government) boundaries.

4.2.5 Continuity of Data

The majority of indicators are collected and published on an annual basis. Usually the frequency of the source survey is a guide to the frequency of the indicator though some rely on responses to questions that are not included every year. A few others, especially the composite indicators that draw together several sources, are produced slightly less frequently ( e.g. travel time to services). In the case of information that relies on the Population Census there is an interval of ten years which is too long to be useful as a key indicator. Several new sources have been developed in the years since devolution, so currently have a limited time series.

4.3 Findings on relevance of indicators and sources

Table 4.1 presents findings of the assessment of the relevance of indicators for rural Scotland. The table shows a large number apply to rural areas with 30 indicators being classed as Nationwide and 23 being classed as Predominantly Rural. The remaining nine are classed as Predominantly Urban. However, closer inspection reveals that only a few of the Predominantly Rural indicators meet all of the conditions required to be a good performance indicator.

Table 4.1: Assessment of performance indicators for relevance and sources

National strategic objective 10

Potential Performance Indicator 11

Key theme addressed 12

Significance to rural Scotland 13

Source of indicator

Statistical source

Geographic detail

Available by Urban-Rural classification? 14

Continuity of data 15

Safer and Stronger

1. Improvement in rural community capacity

Social Capital

Predominantly Rural

Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013

Indicators derived from multiple sources collected by the Scottish Government

National

Every 2.5 years

2. Recorded drug offences (over 1 year period)

Living standards

Predominantly Urban

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Recorded Crime in Scotland - Scottish Government:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statuistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/PubRecordedCrime

Local authority

Annual

3. Recorded crimes of violence (over 1 year period)

Living standards

Predominantly Urban

Local authority

Annual

4. Recorded vandalised (over 1 year period)

Living standards

Predominantly Urban

Local authority

Annual

5. Recorded minor assault (over 1 year period)

Living standards

Predominantly Urban

Local authority

Annual

6. How many people a resident knows / trusts in neighbourhood

Social capital

Predominantly Rural

Effects of Land Reform in Scotland - Community Planning

General Household Survey

Only published at Scotland level.

GHS is annual. Not all questions are asked every year.

7. Percentage increase or decrease in population

Demography

Nationwide

General Register Office for Scotland

8-fold urban-rural classification

Annual

8. Experience of Neighbourhood Problems

Living standards

Nationwide

Rural Scotland Key Facts

Scottish Household Survey

8-fold urban-rural classification

Annual

Wealthier and Fairer

9. Labour productivity

Rural Economy

Nationwide

Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013

ONS - Output per hour worked

Change resulting from Scottish Rural Development Programme will be assessed in evaluation.

Output per hour worked -Scotland

GVA per head - NUTS3 16

Not regular publication

10. Economic growth ( GVA)

Rural Economy

Nationwide

ONS- Regional Accounts

[Contribution of SRDP is to be assessed in evaluation ]

NUTS3

Annual but with 2 year lag.

11. Number of households below average income

Living Standards

Nationwide

Taking forward the Government Economic Strategy

Family Resources Survey

3-fold urban-rural classification

Annual

12. Prevalence of poverty (% of households with income below 60% of median standardised)

Living Standards

Predominantly Urban

Taking forward the Government Economic Strategy

Family Resources Survey

3-fold urban-rural classification

Annual

13. Workless households

Rural Economy

Predominantly Urban

Rural Scotland Key Facts

Labour Force Survey/ Annual Population Survey in Scotland

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Monthly with annual publication

14. Self employment rates

Innovation

Nationwide

Rural Scotland Key Facts

Labour Force Survey/ Annual Population Survey in Scotland

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Monthly with annual publication

15. Unemployment

Rural Economy

Nationwide

Rural Scotland Key Facts

Labour Force Survey/ Annual Population Survey in Scotland

16. Household broadband connection by geographic area

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

Rural Scotland Key Facts 2007

Scottish Household Survey

6-fold Urban-Rural classification

Annual

17. Median gross weekly earnings

Living standards

Nationwide

The Government Economic Strategy

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning ( ONS)

3-fold Urban-Rural classification

Annual

18. Number of out of work benefit claimants

Living standards

Nationwide

Department of Work and Pensions

Local authority

Monthly with annual publication

19. Employees in employment by sector

Agriculture and forestry

Rural economy

Innovation and collaboration

Nationwide

Future Skills: The Labour Market in Rural Scotland

Annual Business Inquiry / Inter departmental Business Register

3-fold urban rural classification

Annual

20. Main challenges faced by businesses in next 12 months ( e.g. attracting skilled staff)

Innovation and collaboration

Nationwide

Future Skills: The Labour Market in Rural Scotland

Futureskills Scotland Employer Skills Survey

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Biennial

21. Proportion of the working age economically active.

Agriculture and forestry

Rural Economy

Innovation and collaboration

Nationwide

Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Monthly with annual publication

22. Levels of deprivation

Living standards

Nationwide

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Data zone

Every 3 years

23. Proportion of working age population who are employed or not involved in the labour market due to ill health or disability

Living standards

Nationwide

Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey of Scotland

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Monthly with annual publication

24. Driving time to a petrol station/ post office/ shopping facilities/ secondary school

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

Taking forward the Government Economic Strategy

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Data zone

Every 3 years

25. Public transport time to a post office/ shopping facilities

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

Taking forward the Government Economic Strategy

26. Increased turnover and number of jobs in social enterprise

Social capital

Nationwide

Social Enterprise Strategy for Scotland

No existing figures. Not specified in the strategy document. IDBR provides turnover.

IDBR provides this data only at Scotland level

Not specified in the strategy document. IDBR data is annual.

27. Change in investment in land based businesses

Agriculture and forestry

Predominantly Rural

Effects of the Land Reform in Scotland - Community Planning

Not specified in the strategy document

Not specified in the strategy document.

Not specified in the strategy document

28. Affordability of housing

Affordable housing

Predominantly Rural

Effects of the Land Reform in Scotland - Community Planning

Not a standard calculation, but a comparison of prices and income can be derived from existing sources

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Not regular (annual data sources could be used)

29. Change in diversity of housing provision (public housing, different size housing, rented and owned housing stock)

Affordable housing

Predominantly Rural

Effects of the Land Reform in Scotland - Community Planning

Not specified in the strategy document

Not specified in the strategy document

Not specified in the strategy document

30. Forestry's contribution to Scottish Gross Value Added

Agriculture and forestry

Predominantly Rural

Scottish Forestry Strategy 2006

Forestry Commission Scotland

Description of indicators

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/sfsindicators.pdf/$FILE/sfsindicators.pdf

Scotland only

Every 4 years

31. Employment supported by the Forestry Related Sector

Agriculture and forestry

Predominantly Rural

Scotland only

Every 4 years

Smarter

32. Uptake of skills / training courses (in land based industries) and provision of land based training / skills courses

Agriculture and forestry

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

Effects of the Land Reform in Scotland - Community Planning

Not known

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Unknown

33. Percentage of people using the internet and accessing broadband technology

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

Scottish Household Survey

8-fold urban-rural classification

Annual

34. The number of economically active people with no qualifications

Balanced rural communities

Nationwide

The Government Economic Strategy

Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey in Scotland

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Continuous survey with Annual publication

35. Working age people with no qualifications

Balanced rural communities

Access to services

Nationwide

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey in Scotland

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Continuous survey with Annual publication

36. People aged 16-18 not in full-time education

Balanced rural communities

Access to services

Nationwide

Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey in Scotland

6-fold Urban Rural classification

Continuous survey with Annual publication

37. 17-21 year olds enrolling into higher education

Balanced rural communities

Access to services

Nationwide

HE management information - Scottish Government

Local authority level. More detail may be possible.

Annual with a lag of one year.

38. 16-19s not in education, training or employment

Balanced rural communities

Access to services

Nationwide

Closing the Opportunity Gap Programme

Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey in Scotland

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Continuous survey with Annual publication

Healthier

39. Levels of health deprivation (areas with a higher than expected level of ill-health or mortality given the age-sex profile of the population) and standardised mortality ratio

Living standards

Nationwide

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Data zone

Annual

40. The proportion of the population being prescribed drugs for anxiety, depression or psychoses

Living standards

Nationwide

Prescription data from NHS Information & Statistics Division Scotland

Data zone

Annual

41. Hospital episodes related to alcohol use

Living standards

Nationwide

Administrative data from NHS Information & Statistics Division Scotland

Data zone

Annual

42. Hospital episodes related to drug use

Living standards

Predominantly Urban

Data zone

Annual

43. Drive time to a GP

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

Data zone

Every 3 years

44. Public transport time to a GP

Access to services

Predominantly Rural

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Every 3 years

45. Persons in households that are overcrowded

Living standards

Predominantly Urban

Census

Data zone

Every 10 years

46. Persons in households without central heating

Living standards

Nationwide

Data zone

Every 10 years

47. Fuel poverty

Living standards

Predominantly Rural

Rural Scotland Key Facts

Scottish House Conditions Survey

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/SHCS

Data zone

Continuous survey

48. Proportion of the population with accessible woodland greater than 2 ha within 500m of their home

Living standards

Physical environment

Nationwide

Scottish Forestry Strategy 2006

Woodland Trust - Woods for people inventory

The documents do not identify any lower level geographic detail.

Every 3 years

49. Proportion of the population with accessible woodland greater than 20ha within 4km of their home

Living standards

Physical environment

Nationwide

The documents do not identify any lower level geographic detail

Every 3 years

50. CHD and Cancer mortality rates for the under 75s

Living standards

Nationwide

Closing the Opportunity Gap programme

NHS Information and Statistics Division Scotland

National

Annual

Greener

51. Contribution to combating climate change

Physical environment

Agriculture and forestry

Rural economy

Predominantly Rural

Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013

Collected from numerous sources by the Scotland Government for the SRDP 2007-2013

National

Every 2.5 yrs and 5 years

52. Percentage of area of land covered by national nature conservation designations 17

Physical environment

Predominantly Rural

Effects of Land Reform in Scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Not clear

53. Area of Native Woodland

Agriculture and forestry

Predominantly Rural

Scottish Forestry Strategy 2006

Forestry Commission Scotland

National

Annual

54. Percentage of designated woodland sites in favourable or unfavourable recovering condition

Agriculture and forestry

Predominantly Rural

Assessed by Scottish Natural Heritage. through the Site Condition Monitoring System

Scotland

Initial assessments between 1999-2005 were analysed and quality assured during 2007

55. Woodland Birds Index

Physical environment

Agriculture and forestry

Predominantly Rural

The Breeding Bird Survey ( JNCC/ RSPB)

Scotland and regions within

Annual

56. Status of UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species

Physical environment

Predominantly Rural

DEFRA and Joint Nature Conservation n Committee ( JNCC)

National

Every 5 years

57. Status of UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitats 18

Physical environment

Predominantly Rural

DEFRA and Joint Nature Conservation n Committee ( JNCC)

National

Every 5 years

58. Proportion of commercially exploited fish stocks fished within safe limits 19

Physical environment

Rural economy

Predominantly Rural

Calculated by Marlab

On the basis of ICES fishing areas

Annual

59. Attitudes to the natural heritage

Physical environment

Nationwide

Scottish Natural Heritage. Variety of sources. Plans to develop a new survey

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/47251/0014570.pdf

3-fold Urban Rural classification

Every 3 years

60. Extent and composition of green space 20

Physical environment

Nationwide

Indicator under development - http://gateway.snh.gov.uk/pls/htmldb_cagdb1

Local authority

Indicator under development

61. Visits to green space/countryside

Physical environment

Nationwide

Scottish Household Survey provides some info. A performance indicator is being developed bringing together several existing sources in a consistent way.

Indicator being developed.

Indicator under development

62. The level of air quality and atmospheric emissions

Physical environment

Predominantly Urban

The Government Economic Strategy

National Atmospheric Emissions Survey

National

Annual

4.4 Conclusion

This chapter has assessed the relevance of the other existing indicators to rural Scotland using a three part categorisation. The analysis of the 62 indicators in the other strategies found that a large number of the indicators (30) could be classified as nationwide, 23 predominantly related to rural areas and 9 predominantly urban. Although there is some subjectivity associated with judgement as to the category into which an indicator falls, overall it can be concluded that there are many indicators that are relevant to rural Scotland already in use.

Closer inspection of the Predominantly Rural indicators indicate that they are not wholly representative of all of the key themes for rural Scotland listed in Chapter 1. Agriculture, forestry and access to services are well represented. There are a small number on issues such as housing and social capital and no indicators related to demography, community empowerment or innovation. Furthermore, few of the Predominantly Rural indicators meet the criteria of a good performance indicator, in terms of continuity of data and geographic detail.

However, many of the indicators classed as Nationwide apply to issues relevant to both urban and rural areas in Scotland. They relate to several of the key themes in question and are available at the low level geographic detail necessary to monitor progress in small rural pockets of Scotland.


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