RCN’s approach to research and policy can be broken down into four areas:
Supporting those who have least voice in rural communities develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to participate as equals in the decisions that impact on their lives.
What is decided?
The decisions of policy makers take into account the issues, needs of rural dwellers and are based on the best available evidence.
How decisions are made?
Ensuring that those who make decisions, such as politicians and public servants, hear, listen and take account of the issues being named in rural communities.
How decisions are enforced, implemented and evaluated?
Ensuring accountability so that decisions made are followed through.
Rural dwellers face a number of different challenges impacting on the quality of people’s lives and the sustainability of rural communities. These include: the rationalisation and centralisation of local and central government services; housing; planning; fuel and child poverty; mental health; transport; and education. RCN’s research and policy work is driven by the commitment to ensuring that in tackling these issues ‘nothing about us is done without us.’