By 2008, improve service delivery in rural areas so that agreed improvements to accessibility and quality are achieved for key services in remote and disadvantaged communities
A4.212 It is premature to evaluate progress toward achieving Target H. However, a six month monitoring report has been produced which summarises progress in service implementation and information monitoring across target areas 34. 32 of the 90 target services had been introduced by the end of 2006.
A4.213 The lack of data should not be viewed as a failing of Target H, as it reflects the nature of the Target, and the local specification of priorities which is central to it. Hence, the process of Target specification and monitoring is a more protracted process.
A4.214 Plans for three rounds of monitoring and two rounds of evaluation have been agreed between the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and the Community Planning Partnerships responsible for managing the work of the Rural Service Priority Areas. Monitoring of service delivery implementation was undertaken at the end of 2006, with future monitoring scheduled for mid 2007 and at the end of 2007; evaluation of outcomes is envisaged at the end of 2007 and mid 2008.
WORK PROGRAMME AND POLICY CONTEXT
A4.215 The broader policy context for Target H - service delivery in rural Scotland - is shared with Objective 6 and was described earlier in the main body of the report.
A4.216 Target H has adopted a 'bottom-up' approach, with rural communities defining their own rural service priorities. This has rendered Target specification and monitoring a more protracted process, than for the other CtOG Targets. The Scottish Executive reviewed the proposed service priorities giving due consideration to additionality ( i.e. to demonstrate that these key services would not be provided without funding) and sustainability ( e.g. all service proposals were required to have an exit strategy).
A4.217 22 Rural Service Priority Areas ( RSPA) have been targeted. These are areas of disadvantage and poor service provision. These RSPAs are shared across 8 Community Planning Partnerships. £100,000 was allocated to each RSPA for the current financial year (2006/07). Collectively, 90 service improvements targets have been agreed; all of these are new services to the RSPAs.
A4.218 Monitoring data on service implementation was published in advance of the meeting of the RSPA Evaluation and Monitoring Group meeting on November 29, 2006. These data report that one third of services had been introduced by the end of 2006 and that progress was being made for introducing the remainder of services. Evaluation data on outcomes will not be available until the end of 2007.
A4.219 Comprehensive templates for target monitoring are being used to standardise data collection across the 22 RSPAs. These templates provide information on:
- Detailed description of the services targeted for improvement
- Boundary issues (where the service may be utilised by people residing outwith the RSPA)
- Statement on the impact of the services targeted for Equalities Groups
- Baseline information on service use and need
- Funding information
A4.220 The research team have not had the opportunity to review the proforma used to monitor service implementation nor evaluating the outcomes of service delivery.