Rural Impact Assessment

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Over half of Norfolk’s population live in rural areas. Meeting the needs of these people effectively is vital.

Rural Impact Assessment, also known as Rural Proofing, is how we assess the potential impact of a policy or service on rural communities.  It’s a means of achieving equally effective and successful outcomes for communities, businesses and individuals in the design and delivery of public services, regardless of their location.

Communities in rural and urban areas face many similar challenges from housing to healthcare, from education to employment.  However, rurality can increase the acuteness with which certain challenges are felt and the practical ways needed to address them.

Community Action Norfolk is committed to ensuring that all policies and services have their rural impact assessed. We believe the best way to do this is through an organisation’s existing Equality Impact Assessments where they consider the effects of other characteristics such as age, disability and race. This limits the additional workload, whilst ensuring rurality is considered.

Our model for Rural Impact Assessment focuses on understanding whether the impact of a proposal would be disproportionately and significantly detrimental to people living in rural areas.

This model has been adopted by Norfolk County Council as part of its budget assessment process and we are working with other partners to develop a similar approach to ensure a fair deal for Norfolk’s rural population.

We can help you explore the rural implications of your strategies and policies in a range of ways including:

  • Training on Rural Impact Assessments and key rural issues, tailored to different groups from senior leaders to those involved in service commissioning and policy development.
  • Evidencing rural issues and need.
  • Supporting the process of developing and imbedding an effective Rural Impact Assessment process.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.