Mind the gaps: challenges of implementing policy for Scotland’s rural third sector

Melissa Mesek, Alejandro Jordan Pérez-Landa, Anne M.J. Smith*, Vasilios Stouraitis, Shariq Sheikh

*Corresponding author for this work

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After Brexit, pandemics and through continuing global economic shocks, the rural third sector continues to navigate a landscape of crisis and challenge while serving communities. We examine Scottish Government policy for the rural third sector and policy implementation mechanisms. Our paper argues, and our evidence shows, that current policy is aspirational and there are deficiencies between rural third sector policy making, policy implementation and the voice of rural communities. Our critical review of Scottish Government documentation examined policy for the third sector in rural conditions, then continued to search government documentation for evidence of action plans and viable implementation strategies. We found that policy makers were aspirational, there are few mechanisms or action plans that support sustainable policy implementation and limited examples of ongoing community consultation. The concern is that while gaps exist between policy making and implementation, government policy will underperform leaving a rural third sector struggling to service their communities and deliver their social mission.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Early online date18 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2024


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