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Shaping Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA)

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As the Coordinator of the project "Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas" (SIMRA), I would like to share the latest news from a stakeholder workshop in Bratislava, 26-28 October, and to bring you up to date on our progress since we launched SIMRA in April.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Is co-creation more than participation?

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Co-creation, and related terms like co-design, co-production, co-construction and co-innovation, are becoming increasingly popular. Upon closer scrutiny they share many characteristics with participatory processes. Is there a difference between the two – co-creation and participation – and if yes, what is it?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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“Quantitative Story Telling”: new method, same challenges for nexus policy studies

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In September I participated in a session entitled, “Be constructive! Situating sustainability research at the nexus of positivism and reflective positionality” during the RGS-IBG 2016 conference on ‘Nexus Thinking’. I told a story about telling a story. My story was about how quantitative methods and data are used in processes of understanding and making sense of our world, about the role of stories and numbers in the processes of knowledge production (and reproduction).

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Introducing a stochastic decision support tool for anaerobic digestion projects

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Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a process by which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, leading to the production of biogas and bio-fertilisers. AD technologies convert the methane in biogas into (renewable) electricity and heat energy with a low carbon footprint.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Informing rural policy in Scotland

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This blog was written jointly with Jane Atterton from the Rural Policy Centre of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). We reflect on current goals in rural development and the implications for how these may be tackled and researched.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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A critical reflection of ‘Octasynthesis’ as a tool for transdisciplinary thinking

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Globally, societies face challenging and interconnected human and environmental problems. Many of these problems are mired in immense complexity, and involve bewildering networks of different drivers, all interacting with each other in diverse ways. Furthermore, these difficulties are compounded by inherent, future uncertainties. It is simply impossible to accurately predict how complex problems will evolve. Yet failure to act promptly and effectively will likely have severe, negative impacts for future generations.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Can pollution source apportionment tools help deliver integrated catchment management?

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‘Source Apportionment Methods’ (SAMs) are a way of estimating sources of water pollution and so inform efforts to improve water quality. This year the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is launching a source apportionment method called SAGIS for rivers in Scotland. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Affordable housing versus rural tourism: The case of St Ives

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Tourism is important for many rural economies.  Despite the fragility of visitor demand, often low paid seasonal employment, and potential adverse environmental effects, it brings income into areas which have limited alternative development opportunities.  However tourism can over-dominate an economy.  A good example of this is in St Ives, a well-known tourist destination in West Cornwall, where the demand for holiday accommodation and second homes has grown to such an extent that they now account for 25% of local housing stock. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Is there a need for region-specific policies for malnutrition in Africa?

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Malnutrition and undernourishment affect about 1 in 5 people in Africa and remains one of the most important public health problems in African countries. It is a major cause of stillbirths, wasting and stunting in children and low productivity in adults. Meanwhile, incomes across the continent are rising and this is expected to impact the dynamics of malnutrition and undernourishment.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Why small area statistics are important: The incidence of disabled older people in remote small towns in Scotland

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It is easy to think of socio-economic difficulties and vulnerability in Scotland as being urban issues. The fact that life expectancy in Glasgow is shorter than anywhere else in the UKhas been well documented, and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee are known to contain over half of Scotland’s most deprived areas. However, rural areas also have residents who are vulnerable and in need of support. For example, recent work by myself and colleagues has found that Scotland’s small and isolated towns have disproportionately high concentrations of older people with disabilities, who are potentially vulnerable. When placed in the context of issues facing rural Scotland, this presents a potential challenge for policy makers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Printed from /blog?page=3 on 30/05/20 08:04:36 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.