Engaging and empowering communities and stakeholders in rural land use and management: technical report

Summary report of the aspects of research on how to assist rural communities to engage with decisions on land use and management.

Annex 4: Success Stories Survey

Learning from Success Stories. Community and Stakeholder Engagement and Empowerment in Land Use and Land Management

This survey is part of research commissioned jointly by the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH) and Forestry Commission Scotland ( FCS). The research findings will help public bodies' better support communities in relation to land use and land management in rural areas.

The focus is rural Scotland but we would also like to hear from projects working in other settings (e.g. urban, private sector, coastal, marine or other countries).

In the survey the word 'engagement' is used loosely to include involvement, participation and inclusion.

We may quote what you say in research outputs but will do this in a way that cannot be attributed to you or your project.

This survey has been written to capture a wide range of stories whether big or small, local or national, in the past or in progress.

We have used the present tense for the sake of simplicity.

Responding to this survey

1. This survey will take about 20 minutes

2. This survey is available until midnight on the 30th November 2015

3. Please keep typed answers short and in bullet style where possible.

5. You can look through the survey before responding, return to earlier pages without losing your work, and complete it in more than one session.

If you have technical difficulties completing this survey please alert: admin@dialoguematters.co.uk

1.0 About you

1.1 What is your full name?

1.2 What is your occupation?

1.3 What Organisation do you work for?

1.4 What is your email address?

1.5 Organisation type:

  • Central Government
  • Agency (Non-Departmental Public Body)
  • Authority (local authority)
  • Parish Council
  • Non-Government Organisation ( NGO)
  • Community Organisation
  • Voluntary
  • Business
  • Research
  • Partnership Project
  • Consultancy

1.6 Your role/s:

  • Project Officer/Manager
  • Project Team Member
  • Project Steering Group Member
  • Funder/sponsor
  • Stakeholder
  • Participant
  • Researcher
  • Process Designer
  • Workshop Facilitator

1.7 What projects have you been involved in that included communities (of place or purpose) in decisions about land management or use in Scotland?

2.0 The context of your project or initiative

2.1 What is the name of the project or initiative?

2.2 Who are the key partners/funders/sponsors?

2.3 If possible, please provide a website link.

2.4 What are the land use and land management objectives?

2.5 What geographic area does it cover?

2.6 Tell us about the key factors that influence the engagement and empowerment activities (such as if the situation is complex, if there was tension at the outset, if distances make it difficult for people to get together or anything else you think is relevant).

3.0 Success

3.1 In relation to land use and land management what is the project achieving?

3.2 In relation to engagement and empowerment why is this a success story?

Please note.

To be successful projects can involve people at two main stages: the planning stage and the implementation stage. The next two pages will ask you more detailed questions about each stage of your project:

Section 4 focuses on how communities and stakeholders are involved in planning land use and land management.

Section 5 focuses on how communities and stakeholders are involved in implementing what has been agreed.

4.0 Planning Stage: planning what to do in land use and/or land management

4.1 How are communities and stakeholders engaged in planning land use and land management in this project? (If any specific participatory approaches or methods were used, please list them, please also indicate the numbers of people involved).

4.2 How is the engagement process designed, facilitated and managed and who is doing this?

4.3 In planning land use and land management how are the key decisions made?

  • By consensus
  • Voting
  • By the strongest/most senior voices in the group

If you said decisions are made via consensus, please indicate how this is achieved:

  • An external professional facilitator using consensus techniques
  • Project staff trained in facilitation skills using consensus techniques
  • Meetings chaired by an external neutral person
  • Meetings chaired by a member of the group
  • Meetings chaired by project staff

4.4 What organisations or interests are involved in making key decisions?

4.5 What is the main role of communities and stakeholders in the decision making?


No role

To provide information

To provide suggestions

To share making all key decisions







4.6 Who is responsible for signing off the land use and/or land management decisions (such as plans, action plans, strategies etc)? (For example Government Ministers, a Public Body Committee or the community/stakeholders as a group).

4.7 Are the communities and stakeholders actively supported to take part in this stage of planning what to do in land use and land management?

If yes, which activities are taking place? (Tick all relevant)

  • Supporting their communication to and from their wider network
  • Supporting preparation of their data, maps and graphs in a professional way so it stands alongside other sources of information
  • Plain language briefings, PowerPoint, notes, maps
  • Supporting development of the community or stakeholder group's social media
  • Helping communities or stakeholders link with others with similar interests
  • Providing expenses to enable people to attend workshops
  • Providing an additional payment or allowance to enable people to attend (eg for self-employed fishers, foresters or farmers, or for child care or other care provision to free people to attend workshops).

4.8 What Organisation is providing this support?

4.9 Thinking about success in the planning stage)

a) What are the keys to success?

b) What could be done even better?

5.0 Implementation Stage: implementing what has been agreed about land use and/or land management.

5.1 Where have you got to with implementation?

  • We haven't got to this stage yet (Please jump to the next page)
  • We haven't got to this stage yet but have worked out how it will be managed (Please continue with this section)
  • We are in the implementation stage (Please continue with this section)
  • We have completed implementation (Please continue with this section)

5.2 How are communities and stakeholders involved in this stage?

5.3 Who are the communities and stakeholders that are involved in this stage?

5.4 How does the group overseeing implementation function? (Please tick all that apply)

  • By informal agreement (i.e. with no legal structure)
  • Informally (i.e. with no legal structure) but with terms of reference
  • As a Social Enterprise
  • As a Charity
  • As a Community Interest Company
  • As a Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Co-operative
  • I don't know

5.5 What type of organisations and interests are represented in the group overseeing implementation and how was this membership decided?

5.6 Who is the group overseeing implementation accountable to? (For example no one else, a public body or the community and stakeholders).

5.7 Who is doing the day-to-day work of implementation?

  • Volunteers
  • Temporary staff
  • A team of permanent staff
  • Staff in the agencies SNH, FCS, SEPA (or equivalent)
  • Landowners/occupiers on their own
  • Landowners/occupiers as a cooperative

5.8 Are any capacity building activities being carried out to help communities and stakeholders implement action?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not yet
  • I don't know

If yes, which activities are taking place? (Tick all relevant)

  • Grants/funds to start up and get established
  • Operating funds
  • Help to fill in grant or funding applications
  • Organisational development and capacity building (eg developing sound governance, legal support, insurance, accountancy, staff recruitment and management)
  • Office space
  • Long term lease of land
  • Sale of land
  • Help with planning applications (eg for offices, stores or classrooms)
  • Technical land management advice (eg about habitats, animal husbandry, tree management, flood resilience)
  • Practical and specialist land management (eg using special equipment, vehicles or licences)
  • Training in practical land management skills
  • Loan of equipment
  • Help in the ability to sell goods or services (e.g. business advice, establishing supply chains, marketing, selling, cash flow, tendering/bidding)

5.9 What Organisation is providing this support?

5.10 Thinking about success in this implementation stage

a) What are the keys to success?

b) What could be done even better?

6.0 How can Public Bodies Help?

6.1 If public bodies are supporting the project (e.g. a Local Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland etc.)

a) What are they doing well?

b) What more could they do to help things go even better?

End page

We may quote what you say in research outputs but will do this in a way that cannot be attributed to you/your project.

However, we hope it may be possible for some of the success stories to be made available online for others to learn from. If this happens, the content will be checked with you first to ensure nothing sensitive is included.

I would be happy for my success story to be used in this way

  • Yes
  • No

Would you like to receive a link to the final report when it is published?

  • Yes
  • No

Thank you very much for taking time to do this survey

Please forward this link to others so they can tell us what they have done.

Please note, we have another survey running to find out more about the challenges and opportunities of working in rural context and around land management and use. If you can afford the time please also fill in that questionnaire as well at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/engagementandempowerment1 (This survey is currently closed. Please contact the author of this survey for further assistance)


Email: Clare Magill, socialresearch@gov.scot

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