The case studies were devised between April and August 2020, using a desk-based research approach consisting of two broad parts:
1) published research/data
2) information requests
The former involved sourcing and consulting relevant publically available research and data for each country. To help with this the Scottish Government library team carried out a literature search across several databases. In addition, some departments and organisations had publically available data, mostly via online portals and publications. Whilst this yielded a number of useful resources, a large part of the project involved requesting information directly from individual public sector departments, bodies and organisations. Those contacted varied according to the area but generally included: government departments, emergency services, health boards, regulators, statistical agencies and research centres. On several occasions this resulted in a 'snowball effect' whereby original contacts suggested other people or organisations to get in touch with. Through this process, over 90 organisations or individuals were contacted directly. Several contacts shared data and/or provided anecdotal and contextual information.
The 2019 Scottish Government evidence review referenced above formed the basis for much of the contextual information included such as the current regulations in each country. A number of the sources consulted as part of the evidence review were also considered as part of the case studies.