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Publication - Research Publication

Engaging and empowering communities and stakeholders in rural land use and land management in Scotland

Published: 29 Jul 2016
Part of:
Farming and rural, Research
ISBN:
9781786522603

Report on how best to assist rural communities to engage with decisions on land use and land management.

136 page PDF

1.5MB

136 page PDF

1.5MB

Contents
Engaging and empowering communities and stakeholders in rural land use and land management in Scotland
6 Applying the Empowerment Framework

136 page PDF

1.5MB

6 Applying the Empowerment Framework

The Empowerment Framework is discussed earlier in section 4.2, and is repeated in Table 10 below to act as an index for the discussion that follows. The Framework sets out the possible roles in relation to who holds power, responsibility and resources for planning and who holds responsibility and resources for implementing land management.

Within the Framework, one category is not seen as inherently better than the others, rather each category can be seen as fit for particular purposes depending on the level of professional input necessary to achieve the objectives. Some projects, work strands, or initiatives can fit in more than one category and so, given the desire for enhanced empowerment, should function in the category that optimises engagement and empowerment.

Table 10: Empowerment Framework

Responsibility for designing and planning land use and land management

Environmental professionals (from public bodies and the third sector) design and plan

Shared design and planning

Other stakeholders and/or communities design and plan

Responsibility for delivery and implementation

Environmental professionals (from public bodies and the third sector) deliver

1

Traditional professional service

2

Shared design and planning.

Professionals responsible for delivery

3

Other stakeholders and/or community design, professionals deliver

Shared delivery

4

Professionals design, shared delivery

5

All share in planning and in delivery

(Full co-production)

6

Other stakeholders and/or community design, shared delivery

Other stakeholders and /or communities deliver

7

Professionals design, other stakeholders and/or community deliver

8

Shared design. Users/community deliver

9

Self-organised, other stakeholders and/or community deliver

The following sections explain each category, illustrate examples of the types of land use and land management initiatives that could fit within it, suggest the roles and actions that each party can play, and provide suggestions about how empowerment could be enhanced. Changes in empowerment often result in a shift in the category or box a project fits into.

1. Traditional professional service

Description

This is traditional professional service and the way that many environmental organisations (public bodies. local authorities and environmental third sector organisations) have typically functioned.

Types of projects

Examples that sit within this category could include:

  • Some scientific surveys
  • Specialist advice on planning or developments
  • Emergency response to flood or fire
  • Advice to Government Ministers

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Use science, policy and their own experience to make decisions

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Are informed about what has been decided

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Use science, policy and their own experience to implement management

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Are informed about the management taking place

Examples from this research

  • Environmental research
  • Landscape initiatives
  • Getting a protected nature site in good condition
  • A large area project to restore river habitats and species, address pollution and wildlife crime
  • A national wildlife management project

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

It is appropriate that some science and data gathering projects operate in this category. In other research, there is scope for scientists to work with science users in the co-creation of scientific knowledge. In fully collaborative science (Cell 5 on the Framework), users share in framing the research questions, developing research methods and disseminating findings. This helps to ensure the science addresses their needs as users. Another approach to increases engagement in science is 'citizen science'.

The other cases in this category undertake a wide range of engagement activities such as surveys, drop in meetings, education, volunteer action, and workshops. Some of these are very inclusive and engage large numbers of people. However, the responsibility and decision power in both planning and implementation stages rests with environmental professionals from public bodies and NGOs. Other sectors and interests were not included in the management group.

Future projects of this type could increase empowerment by increasing the influence of those they involve, broadening the governance to include other interests ( e.g. business, tourism, recreation, health, the arts, local community representatives) and sharing power to both plan and deliver land use and land management (a full co-production approach in the middle cell on the framework).

For larger projects, another way of increasing empowerment is to delegate responsibility and resources to sub-groups of communities or stakeholders. In this way, they can lead on specific smaller projects set within the goals and ethos of a larger strategic project.

2. All design. Environmental professionals responsible for delivery

Description

This category is where environmental public bodies and third sector organisations engage with a variety of other stakeholders/and or communities to plan action, but once the participation process finishes, responsibility for the implementation stage reverts to a group of environmental professionals who oversee delivery.

Types of projects

An example of a project that might sit in this category is a flood control scheme where stakeholders and communities influence design, landscaping and recreation use, but professional environmentalists and engineers hold responsibility for construction (although once constructed it could revert to shared management of the new asset).

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Sponsor and enable the engagement process
  • Provide technical information and statutory constraints
  • Enable and support communities and citizens to take part
  • Deliberate with others and share decisions

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Input information about local context
  • Explain user needs
  • Input values and concerns
  • Check feasibility and acceptability with others
  • Deliberate with others and share decisions

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Hold responsibility and power over detailed implementation
  • Contract out or carry out the management work

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Are informed about the management taking place
  • May help implement practical management as a volunteer 'work force'

Examples from this research

A landscape project

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

To date, most multi-stakeholder environmental projects have functioned in this category (such as integrated management of protected areas, catchments, forests, or coasts). Participation in the planning stage can be best practice with well-designed processes, careful stakeholder identification, and participants building consensus about land use and land management. The scope for improving empowerment is about what happens during the implementation stage.

Empowerment could be enhanced in the following was:

  • The governance group overseeing implementation includes a mix of environmental interests and others such as representatives from communities, recreation, farming, business, or tourism
  • The governance group is accountable to communities and stakeholders (rather than to a committees within a particular agency)
  • Empowerment and deliberation are embedded in the project ethos
  • A wider group of stakeholders is brought together at regular intervals to review progress and share planning next steps
  • The project can shift role from directing to coordinating by delegating power and resources to smaller groups to implement delivery that fits with the parent project

3. Stakeholders and/or community design, professionals deliver

Description

In this category, the community/stakeholders plan land use and land management, and professionals then implement it.

Types of projects

Types of project that fit in this category can be collaboratively planned but technically difficult to deliver so have to revert to professionals for implementation.

Examples include:

  • A local community looking after green space wanting eradication of exotic invasive species by the local council
  • An example outside Scotland is a badger bTB vaccination project in which stakeholders and locals planned and initiated the programme, with specially trained vets and wildlife professionals carrying it out

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector:

  • Provide information on websites about setting up initiatives and working collaboratively ( e.g. governance structures, health and safety, practical management advice)

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Hold full responsibility for planning land use and land management

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Contract out or carry out the management work

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Are kept informed about the management taking place

Examples from this research

None

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

Build capacity so that members of the community and/or stakeholders have the necessary technical skills, licences and insurance to carry out the work for themselves.

4. Professionals design, shared delivery

Description

In this category, environmental professionals (from public bodies and the third sector) design and plan land use or management, and then communities, stakeholders and citizens share in implementing it.

Types of projects

Citizen Science monitoring programmes. The monitoring methods has to have sufficient scientific rigour to deliver viable data, but once the method has been developed, citizens organise themselves to collect the data and feed it back to a central database for collation, analysis and use.

Examples include:

  • The British Trust for Ornithology bird counts
  • Farmers monitoring water quality
  • A project where citizens warden a coastal area, collect data about the quality of the habitats and level of human use which they feed back to the coastal project, and hold meetings and trips to increase their understanding and skills

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Environmental professionals use their specialist skills and science to design and plan

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Are informed about what is planned

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Share equipment
  • Build capacity to share in delivery
  • Partner with communities and stakeholders to carry out management/research

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Provide work force
  • Learn new skills to share in delivery
  • Partner with professionals to carry out management/research

Examples from this research

None

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

For citizen science projects, empowerment can be increased by shifting to a knowledge co-creation approach with data users and citizens collaborating over what data is needed, how it is gathered and how it is used and applied. A marine example where this happened is the GAP 2 project, which brought scientists and commercial fishers together to develop the research, carry it out and apply it to improved management. We also know of a diffuse pollution project working out how scientists and farmers can work together in a similar way.

5. Full co-production (shared design and shared delivery)

Description

Communities/stakeholders and professionals share planning and implementation as equal partners (sometimes referred to as co-production) playing to respective strengths and harnessing each other's resources. This is referred to as full co-production because the people who benefit from the services provided by public bodies (and NGOs) work with the professionals to share in the design, planning and implementation of the service.

Full co-production is when responsibility, power and resources to plan and implement are shared.

Types of projects

Many land use and land management projects could fit in this category. At a local level examples could be:

  • Energy projects
  • Water and flood management projects
  • Habitat management
  • Environmental friendly community farming

Landscape scale /large area projects could include:

  • Protected landscape management ( e.g. National Nature Reserves National Parks, National Scenic Areas)
  • Catchment management
  • Outdoor recreation and access plans
  • Flood adaptation plans
  • Citizen science programmes
  • Re-wilding projects

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Sponsor and enable the engagement process
  • Provide technical information and constraints
  • Enable and support communities and citizens to take part
  • Share decision making with others

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Input information about local context
  • Explain site user needs
  • Input values and concerns
  • Check feasibility and acceptability with others
  • Share decision making

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Co-governance as part of the management group
  • Input technical knowledge
  • Provide help with grants
  • Share equipment

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Co-governance as part of the management group
  • Input local knowledge and knowhow
  • Provide resources such as venues, volunteers, data, project hosting
  • Provide work force

Examples from this research

From Scotland: Landscape management using the ecosystem approach

From elsewhere: National Park management

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

At the planning stage, this requires a well-designed and facilitated consensus-building process that balances power between interests, moderates dominant characters, values all forms of knowledge and enables all to have an equal opportunity to input their thinking and shape the resulting decisions.

When it comes to implementation, new governance arrangements and structures are likely to be needed and potentially new types of organisation, such as social enterprises or co-operatives.

Empowerment can be enhanced further if the governance group seek opportunities to share power and resources outwards and downwards to more local and detailed levels of delivery.

6. Other stakeholders and/or community design, shared delivery

Description

In this category communities and/or stakeholders plan management but for technical reasons, delivery of the management needs the input of environmental professionals.

Types of projects

An illustration of the kind of project that could fit in this category comes from a case we were involved in outside this research and in another country. The community realised that in a major coastal storm and flood there would be a delay before emergency services could reach them. They then planned how to organise themselves and, once they could be reached, how they would need to work with relevant environmental agencies and emergency services.

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Passive role during this stage but provide information and resources for groups to access ( e.g. about setting up initiatives, working collaboratively, governance structures, insurance, practical advice)

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Organise themselves to plan the action that is needed, drawing on external information and resources as necessary

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Provide active support
  • Provide equipment

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Provide coordination
  • Provide human resources

Examples from this research

None

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

Empowerment could be enhanced further by:

  • Providing more resources to help people take the initiative
  • Develop guidance with representatives of local communities so it is in an accessible language and style
  • Streamline and simplify access to funding and information
  • Encourage networking between groups so they can develop a learning community

7. Professionals design, stakeholders and/or community deliver

Description

In this category, technical specialism is necessary to design and plan land use or management, and then communities, stakeholders and citizens implement it.

Types of projects

An example of this is an agri-environment scheme where the environmental professionals work out appropriate land management prescriptions and then others (such as farmers, landowners, community buy out groups) then deliver the management on their land in return for a financial agreement.

Another example might be the management of a nature area where professionals work out the habitat management but communities and citizens taken on responsibility for the practical management (such as scrub clearance, pond creation, or community farm grazing).

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Professionals use their science, knowledge and obligations to plan land

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Are informed about the decisions

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Passive other than providing information on websites about governance structures, entity options, accounting, supply chains, bidding procedures, health and safety, practical management advice

Communities/stakeholders/citizens:

  • Citizens (land holders), community or stakeholder groups hold responsibly for governance, finding funding, and implanting management
  • Community projects decide what kind of entity to be, including: social enterprise, community interest companies, cooperatives
  • Build accountability to wider community
  • Carry out management
  • May need to provide reports for grants and licences

Examples from this research

  • Community mountain bike area
  • Wildlife Management Project

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

In agri-environment schemes, there is already a shift to collaborative planning at whole farm or land holding level. Increasing empowerment might be less about what happens at local/farm level and more about engaging different voices in developing the initial goals and management prescriptions for the area/land type.

Increasing empowerment in the example of a nature area would be to involve communities and stakeholders in sharing the management planning so it works for nature, landscapes, and livelihoods, before then working together to implement that management.

8. Shared design. Stakeholders and/or community deliver

Description

Environmental professional and stakeholders/communities work together to plan what needs to happen but then the stakeholders/community/citizens take on responsibility for delivery

Types of projects

Collaborative deer management

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Sponsor and enable the engagement process
  • Provide technical information and statutory constraints
  • Enable and support communities and citizens to take part
  • Deliberate with others and share decisions

Communities/stakeholders/citizens

  • Input information about local context
  • Explain user needs
  • Input values and concerns
  • Check feasibility and acceptability with others
  • Deliberate with others and share decisions

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Provide information on websites about governance structures, entity options, accounting, supply chains, bidding procedures, health and safety, practical management advice

Communities/stakeholders/citizens:

  • Citizens (land holders), community or stakeholder groups hold responsibly for governance, finding funding, and implanting management
  • Community projects decide what kind of entity to be including: social enterprise, community interest companies, cooperatives
  • Build accountability to wider community
  • Carry out management
  • May need to provide reports for grants and licences

Examples from this research

None

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

Increasing empowerment in this context would be to increase the number of people, breadth of interests, or level of influence of those engaged in management planning and skilling more people to carry it out.

9. Self-organised stakeholder/community provision

Description

Members of communities and/or groups of stakeholders take the initiative to develop a local project making decisions about what land use or land management they want and how to organise themselves and their resources to deliver it.

Types of projects

This category is where many local projects best fit for example managing local nature reserves, local woodland enterprise, community energy or water projects, or community farms/orchards/gardens

When working at scale, organisations need to have a larger role in planning and or implementation so larger scale projects fit better in the full co-production category.

Roles in planning

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Respond swiftly and in a streamlined way to requests for information
  • Provide online resources e.g. discussion packs that help people work through the key questions to work out what to do and how to set up a new group

Communities/stakeholders:

  • The local group holds full responsibility for planning land use and land management

Roles in implementing

Environmental professionals from public bodies and third sector

  • Provide (or signpost) information on websites about governance structures, entity options, accounting, supply chains, bidding procedures, health and safety, practical management advice

Communities/stakeholders/citizens :

  • Community or stakeholder groups hold responsibly for governance, finding funding, and implanting management
  • Communities will need to decide what kind of entity they want to be, including: social enterprise, community interest companies, cooperatives
  • Build accountability to wider community
  • May need to provide reports for grants and licences to public bodies

Examples from this research

  • Community buy out of green space in an urban area
  • Community buy out of forest land
  • Energy efficient community building

How could engagement and empowerment be enhanced?

  • Develop guidance with representatives of local communities so it is in an accessible language and style
  • Streamline and simplify funding, licencing, and opportunity to bid to supply goods or services
  • Encourage networking between groups so they can develop a community of interest and share knowledge and knowhow

Table 11, below, summarises the role of environmental bodies in each category.

Table 11: Summary of possible roles for public bodies and third sector environmental organisations, in each category

Responsibility for designing and planning land use and land management

Environmental professionals from public bodies (and the third sector) design and plan

Shared design and planning

Other stakeholders and/or communities design and plan

Responsibility for delivery and implementation

Environmental professionals from public bodies (and the third sector) deliver

Decide 'with' but hold the resources and power to implement

Hear what is wanted and then use specialist skills, resources and power to deliver

Shared delivery

Decide 'for' then build capacity to share delivery

Co-decide and co-deliver

Hear what is wanted then share and support delivery

Other stakeholders and /or communities deliver

Decide 'for' then hand over to communities

Decide 'with' then hand over to communities

Keep in contact and offer support


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