South of Scotland Enterprise Agency: consultation report

Analysis report on the consultation process for creating the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. The report analyses both online responses and opinions expressed at the 26 engagement events held across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Appendix 1: Methodology

This Appendix outlines the methodology in terms of the coding, analysis and reporting process.

The submissions to the online consultation were downloaded from Citizen Space in Microsoft Excel format. A total of 272 responses were submitted through Citizen Space. Rocket Science checked whether any of the responses were duplicates ( i.e. largely identical), and in total four responses were identified as duplicates. Two of these were submitted by individuals from the same IP-address and were largely identical to a third response also from the same IP-address, meaning that only one of these three responses was kept for analysis and the other two were not considered in the analysis. There were two organisational responses which were submitted twice and so only one of the two was considered in the analysis. Hence, there was a total of 268 responses considered in the analysis of the online consultation.

Rocket Science was sent the 26 event notes which were written by the Southern Uplands Partnership. Considering that during the engagement events participants were divided into smaller groups, not every discussion point may be covered by the event notes. As such, when the analysis refers to the number of events during which a certain point was raised, it indicates the minimum number as there may have been other events during which a point was discussed but not recorded in the event notes.

The 26 event notes and the 268 responses to the online consultation were uploaded onto NVivo. NVivo is a qualitative analysis software that allows the coding of responses into themes and sub-themes. After reviewing an initial sample of 23 consultation responses and 17 event notes, a coding framework – a structure of themes and sub-themes to which the responses can be coded – was developed. The remaining responses to the online consultation and the remaining event notes were coded with this framework. However, throughout the coding process the coding framework was further developed and refined, creating more precise themes and sub-themes for the analysis and reporting stage.

The online consultation's Respondent Information Form ( RIF) asked respondents whether they are responding as an individual and organisation. In order to enable a more detailed analysis, the organisational respondents were then further categorised into one of the following categories:

  • Business
  • Local business organisation
  • Community organisation
  • National organisation
  • Local authorities, including party-bound groups and particular services linked to the councils
  • Other organisation responses ( i.e. those that did not fit any of the other four categories)

The online consultation asked 20 open-ended questions, asking respondents about their ambitions for the South of Scotland, their view of the strengths and weaknesses of the South of Scotland, their views on the different activities of the Agency, where it should be located and who should be on its Board, which other powers the agency should have, and questions about equality and diversity in the South of Scotland. For a full list of the questions please refer to Appendix 2.

Respondents often raised similar points in their answers to different questions, so the coding and analysis process did not strictly follow the structure as set out by the questions of the consultation. Instead, the responses to different questions were coded to the themes that were established in the coding framework. As such, the analysis builds on the answers of the online consultation but is not structured nor constrained by them.

When analysis includes how often a certain point was raised across all respondents or by a particular respondent type, the following terms will be used to give account of the proportion of respondents have raised a certain point:

  • "Few" means between 5% and 9%
  • "Some" means between 10% and 19%
  • "Many" means between 20% and 49%
  • "Most" or "majority" means between 50% and 74%
  • "Large majority" means between 75% to 89%
  • "Consensus" means 90% or more.


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