Contributed by Ruth Wilson (The James Hutton Institute)
Over the next few days a survey will be landing on the doormats of 20,000 islanders across Scotland. The survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government and developed by researchers at the James Hutton Institute to measure the effectiveness of the National Islands Plan. It follows on from extensive island consultations held last year to develop the plan, and aims to gather perceptions of key aspects of life in island communities.
The questions included in the survey are wide-ranging and ask about housing, jobs, digital connectivity, health care and transport – aspects of island life that we know are vital in enabling people to live and work in island communities. It will provide baseline data for the thirteen objectives of the National Islands Plan and enable the impact of the plan to be measured consistently across the islands in future years.
The survey is being sent to individuals in all the islands for which we were able to obtain residents’ contact details. It’s important that the person named on the envelope answers the questions (with, if needed, the help of someone else); this will mean that residents of different age groups and genders are represented in the study.
Recipients can complete the survey on paper, online or by telephone, in English or in Gaelic, following the instructions on the front of the paper copy.