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Use and Understanding of the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification

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4 RESPONDENT PROFILE

4.1 Research was conducted by means of an online survey and by telephone interviews with some of the online respondents who agreed to participate further. SG distribution lists and names that emerged from the desk-based research formed the basis of the sample. The SG distribution lists included those with a rural interest, those who had registered with ScotStat and those who already received information on the SG Urban Rural Classification.

The online survey

4.2 In order to help with analysis of the online data and ascertain any differences between groups of those who responded to the online survey, all respondents were asked to give some basic details about themselves.

4.3 As table 4.1 shows, over half the respondents worked either for the Scottish Government (30%) or for a Local Authority (22%). Smaller proportions worked for other organisation types. Those within the Scottish Government worked across a range of different directorates. Seven of the NHS Boards were represented. Thirteen respondents worked within the NHS although not for a specific Health Board. Most Scottish Local Authorities were represented.

Table 4.1: Online Sample Profile (Base: 412)

%

No

%

No

Organisation work for

Role

- Scottish Government

30

123

- Policy

32

133

- Local Authority

22

92

- Analyst

32

131

- Agency / NDPB

11

44

- Researcher

27

111

- University / College

7

30

- Other

9

37

- Private consultancy

6

24

Local Authority

- Commercial organisation

3

11

- Aberdeen City

3

3

- Voluntary organisation

8

33

- Aberdeenshire

2

2

- NHS Board

6

25

- Angus

3

3

- Other

7

30

- Argyll & Bute

3

3

Scottish Government Directorate

- Clackmannanshire

1

1

- Education

26

32

- Dundee (City)

3

3

- Economy

17

21

- Dumfries & Galloway

1

1

- Justice & Communities

24

30

- East Ayrshire

2

2

- Environment

20

24

- East Dunbartonshire

-

-

- Health

10

12

- East Lothian

4

4

- Finance & Corp Services

3

4

- East Renfrewshire

3

3

Total

123

- Edinburgh (City)

7

6

NHS Board

- Eilean Siar

3

3

- Borders

4

1

- Falkirk

5

5

- Dumfries & Galloway

8

2

- Fife

8

7

- Grampian

4

1

- Glasgow (City)

10

9

- Greater Glasgow

12

3

- Highland

4

4

- Highland

8

2

- Midlothian

3

3

- Lothian

8

2

- Moray

1

1

- Tayside

4

1

- North Ayrshire

3

3

- OTHER NHS

52

13

- North Lanarkshire

4

4

Total

25

- Orkney

5

5

- Perth & Kinross

2

2

- Renfrewshire

4

4

- Shetland

3

3

- South Ayrshire

2

2

- South Lanarkshire

2

2

- Stirling

4

4

Total

92

4.4 In terms of their role, just under one in three (32%) described themselves as a policy maker/policy influencer and the same proportion described themselves as an analyst. Just over a quarter (27%) described themselves as a researcher. A small number, 9%, had different job roles; many of these 'other' respondents were public sector project officers working in areas such as health and housing, along with teachers and consultants or business advisers, among others.

4.5 For the purposes of the questionnaire, those who identified themselves as analysts and researchers were treated/routed the same and for the rest of this report they are referred to as a single group (analysts).

Telephone interviews

4.6 Responses to the online questionnaire were examined for topics which required more intensive exploration. These were then discussed with the SG and a topic guide was then drawn up which detailed the issues that had been identified for further investigation. Main topic areas included:

  • reasons for using / not using the SG Urban Rural Classification;
  • how the classification is used;
  • relationship to other classifications;
  • use of other classifications;
  • potential changes;
  • communication.

4.7 A copy of the topic guide is included at Appendix 2.

4.8 At the end of the online survey, respondents were asked if they were prepared to participate in a subsequent stage of work. From the 152 that agreed, 30 respondents were selected for interview by telephone; this sample included those who used a range of different population classifications and approximately reflects the spread of different organisation types from the online survey.

4.9 Details on the profile of respondents who participated in the telephone discussions are shown in table 4.2.

Table 4.2: Telephone interview Sample Profile

Respondent Role

No of interviews

Classification used10

No of interviews

Analyst

7

SG Urban Rural Classification

20

Researcher

7

PAF

13

Policy

9

ACORN / MOSAIC

6

Other

7

SIMD

20

Randall

4

Respondent Organisation

DEFRA's Classification of Local Authority Districts and Unitary Authorities in England

5

Agency / NDPB

3

Other

4

Commercial organisation

2

None

3

Local Authority

7

NHS

2

Private consultancy

3

Scottish Government

4

University / college

3

Voluntary organisation

2

Other

4