Regional Land Use Partnerships: phase 1 process evaluation - final report

The Regional Land Use Partnerships (RLUPs) evaluation report considers the lessons learned from the Year 1 (2021 to 2022) pilot process. The report was completed by SAC Consulting and outlines key early findings from RLUP pilot establishment.

Appendix B: Detail on evaluation methodology

Theory of Change model

The Theory of Change model (Figure B1) represents a concise proposed model for how and why a particular approach (RLUP pilots) will be effective in delivering the stated objectives for RLUPs. While the ToC represents the main components of the RLUPs process, there are a number of assumptions related to the proposed model, which include:

  • The majority of relevant stakeholders will engage with the RLUPs process to some extent during the initial and longer term work of the RLUP pilots.
  • That RLUPs will continue to receive government support and funding over the medium and longer term and natural capital assessment tools will continue to develop and be available and increasingly adopted by RLUPs in the medium term.
  • As RLUPs develop both natural capital/ecosystem markets and related public support systems will continue to develop over time.

The relative progression and development of individual RLUP pilots over time may also be affected by their relative scale, which may have implications for resourcing and operationalising collaboration and engagement at more localised levels.

Development of method

The interview questions were developed based on the priority outcomes for RLUP pilots provided by Scottish Ministers (see Box B1). These outcomes were used to inform the four key themes around which we structured the evaluation: governance, stakeholder engagement, natural capital, and data. The SG RLUP Policy team developed key process evaluation questions for each of these themes. The process evaluation questions in turn informed our logic model for RLUPs (Figure 3a), which we used to create the full list of questions which were posed to pilots in interviews. The list of interview questions was reviewed by the SG RLUP Policy team and remained consistent across the interview process.

Box B1: Scottish Ministers’ critical success criteria for RLUP pilots.

Measurements of Success:

The Scottish Green Party Agreement states that a second phase of RLUPs will be rolled out in 2023 if the pilot regions can show that they meet expectations relating to:

  • Adoption of a natural capital approach;
  • Production of RLUFs which can meet national and regional priorities;
  • Maximise influence in engaging regional stakeholders;
  • Taking a democratic, inclusive local approach to decision making.
Figure B1: Theory of Change model for RLUPs.
Theory of Change (ToC) model for RLUPs is a visual representation of pathways between logic model inputs and outcomes. The ToC model uses ‘if and then’ reasoning. For example if ‘x’ happens then ‘y’ should result.

Not all questions were applicable to the pilots at their current stage of progression, however we felt we could add value to the process by generating a robust list of interview questions that completely covers Phase 1 outcomes for the pilots. While each interview used only a subset of our full complement, the full list provides a resource to inform evaluations of future RLUP phases. The full list of interview questions is included in Appendix D.



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