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Article

Developing Farm-Level Social Indicators for Agri-Environment Schemes: A Focus on the Agents of Change

1
Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham GL50 4AZ, UK
2
Natural England, Worcester WR5 2NP, UK
3
Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3BD, UK
4
Centre for Rural Policy Research, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4PJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: José Manuel Mirás-Avalos and Emily Silva Araujo
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7820; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147820
Received: 15 June 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 1 July 2021 / Published: 13 July 2021
Most monitoring and evaluation programmes for agri-environment schemes focus on understanding the environmental outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of these schemes. Evaluation of the social dimensions of agri-environment schemes, particularly the socio-cultural factors that might influence the quality of engagement with the schemes and the social wellbeing impact of scheme engagement, is limited. This is a critical gap in knowledge as there is growing recognition that without more explicit consideration of the farmers involved in land management as agents of change, the required environmental improvements will not be achieved. The aim of this paper was to undertake a systematic literature review to inform the development of a set of social indicators that can be used to measure the level of farmers’ engagement with their scheme agreement and the social sustainability outcomes from participation. Following the literature review and a short-listing ranking exercise with two sets of experts, 20 high-level (composite) social indicators and associated sub-level (component) indicators were identified. A series of scale or ranking questions that can be used to capture the indicator data were also developed and tested. This paper presents the first stage in the development of a robust set of social indicators for agri-environment schemes that will also provide a good indicator of long-term environmental outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: social indicators; agri-environment; social sustainability; farmer behaviour; socio-cultural; health and wellbeing; monitoring and evaluation social indicators; agri-environment; social sustainability; farmer behaviour; socio-cultural; health and wellbeing; monitoring and evaluation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mills, J.; Chiswell, H.; Gaskell, P.; Courtney, P.; Brockett, B.; Cusworth, G.; Lobley, M. Developing Farm-Level Social Indicators for Agri-Environment Schemes: A Focus on the Agents of Change. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7820. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147820

AMA Style

Mills J, Chiswell H, Gaskell P, Courtney P, Brockett B, Cusworth G, Lobley M. Developing Farm-Level Social Indicators for Agri-Environment Schemes: A Focus on the Agents of Change. Sustainability. 2021; 13(14):7820. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147820

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mills, Jane, Hannah Chiswell, Peter Gaskell, Paul Courtney, Beth Brockett, George Cusworth, and Matt Lobley. 2021. "Developing Farm-Level Social Indicators for Agri-Environment Schemes: A Focus on the Agents of Change" Sustainability 13, no. 14: 7820. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147820

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