Rural Wellbeing: A Framework And Guide For Policymakers

by What Works Centre for Wellbeing

This month in his Budget As part of the “Everywhere” levelling up of the economic plan, the Chancellor reiterated his commitment to ensure that the benefits of national success are felt by all people, regardless of where they live: towns, cities or rural areas.

What is the best way to understand how wellbeing is maintained in different places? To ensure that all people in the UK have happy, fulfilling lives.

The Centre for Thriving Places commissioned us to contribute to an investigation into what helps rural communities to thrive and to support policymakers in using this information in their decision-making. We were advisors to the project and shared our evaluation, implementation, and evidence expertise in order to develop a new framework for rural wellbeing.

We share the key findings of this blog Framework and final report of the projectThese resources can be used to measure the impact of policies and practices on wellbeing.

This project was designed to help rural community workers, including DEFRA policymakers to place wellbeing outcomes at their heart.

These include:

  • Identifying the “domains” or drivers of well-being The factors that matter most are determined by analyzing existing evidence and engaging in rural communities.
  • How rural residents are doing These domains can be accessed by reviewing both primary data and secondary sources.
  • Guidelines or a toolkit for rural wellbeing evaluationIdentifying what is needed to make this happen.

The key findings

  • There are many factors that contribute to our well-being. There is a big difference between urban and rural settings. We can all share the basic elements of what it takes to thrive in different settings and locations.
  • Rural wellbeing is not an isolated phenomenon. Rural life is influenced by certain factors These can increase the impact of local conditions or common challenges.
  • The highest levels of wellbeing are seen in some rural areas of the UK In the country Others are some of the lowest.
  • There are gaps in the evidenceThis includes a lack research on the direct impacts of key sustainability metrics in rural wellbeing; evidence about the drivers of wellbeing for the working-age population in rural areas; education, learning beyond formal education; and the effect of rural pollution on people’s wellbeing.
  • Crucially, Access to the things people require for their wellbeing is a crucial role When considering wellbeing in rural settings (equity of access between urban and rural areas), It can be both an enabler and a barrier to rural communities’ wellbeing.
  • According to the framework and report, Access and equality can be seen as lenses that enable us to see wellbeing through. Policy outcomes
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Rural wellbeing framework

Seven elements were identified as the key to improving rural wellbeing through this research. These seven elements form the heart of the rural wellbeing framework.

  • Fairness, equality and inclusion – Equal access for all to the most important things for our well-being.
  • Economic opportunities – This includes education opportunities, financial security, and the specific effects of rural economies and seasonal shifts in jobs, services, and housing.
  • Community This research reveals that a strong community is a universal driver for wellbeing. This applies to both geographical and social communities. social capital, Sense of belongingParticipation and Having power and influence in our lives.
  • Environment – Rural wellbeing is driven by proximity to nature, as expected. This domain also includes Culture and heritageSafety and the built environment.
  • Health Personal wellbeing is a key driver in rural and non-rural areas.
  • Access Access to other domains within the framework, i.e. Access to services, jobs, and support. Plus access via key enablers like transport and digital connectivity.
  • Sustainability – Assuring the wellbeing of future generations.

The Rural Wellbeing Framework model's 'doughnut' component is illustrated in a graphic. This is a group of three concentric circles. The outer layer, which is pale green, says

Source: Centre for Thriving Places, Defining Rural Wellbeing and Measuring Rural Wellbeing

Find out more More information about the rural wellbeing framework can be found in the full reportThis includes an indicator bank that will help policymakers in all levels of government to take wellbeing outcomes into consideration. On page 32, you will find a quick assessment of the evidence regarding rural wellbeing for each of these drivers.

What can you do next

You can work in rural policymaking and practice.

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