Rural Proofing Aims:

Rural proofing aims to ensure that services, projects and policies are designed so that they reach rural communities and are suited to rural circumstances.

Rural delivery can be challenging as a result of factors such as population sparsity, travel distances, lost economies of scale and additional costs. Yet there may also be opportunities where there are active local communities and available community assets. Effective rural delivery needs to address the challenges and make the most of the opportunities.

The Rural Services Network, along with other organisations, supported a Defra-funded project to produce some guidance resources on local level rural proofing. This material is aimed at any organisation working locally, in whatever field and whether in the public, private or civil society sectors.

The project identified eighteen underlying principles of good rural practice – features which are found time-and-time again in successful services, projects and policies delivering in rural areas. Whilst these are not prescriptive and may lead to different solutions in different places, they offer a valuable list of principles to be considered when designing for rural delivery.

The principles can be applied to almost any policy process, including strategy development, service planning, service reviews, scrutiny functions and project design.

 The three main resources from the local level rural proofing project can be found at these links. They are:
A short background note about local rural proofingshort background note about local rural proofing
A practice note which sets out the eighteen underlying principles
A pack of presentation slides about local level rural proofing



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