Having a say on the things that matter

Challenges such as broadband, housing, transport, healthcare, population decline, childcare, fuel poverty and cost of living are widely shared by island communities but individually it can sometimes be difficult to get views across and respond to policy consultations.  SIF provides a conduit to make sure there is a strong island voice and perspective in policy and decision making.  You can read our policy submissions here.

Topical issues & working groups

To share good examples and find solutions on specific issues, we are currently piloting topical working groups.  The first of these is looking at marine litter and in particular what to do with all the litter that is collected from island beach cleans.  If you would like to get involved in a group or suggest a topic for a new group please get in touch.

Projects & partnerships

As well as taking forward our own projects, SIF brings an island dimension and connections to a wide range of partnership projects and research. Further details of the projects we are invovled in are here.

Getting ideas and being inspired

Community-led development is a real driver of change and so many good things are happening on the islands as a result.  Enabling island communities to share ideas, get together and learn from each other is an important part of what SIF does and each year we organise an island learning exchange as part of our AGM: 

  • Investing in Young People, Learning Exchange to Grimsay: 2019 AGM
  • Empowering Small Island Communities, Learning Exchange to Tiree: 2018 AGM
  • Small Islands Think Big, Learning Exchange to Orkney: 2017 AGM

Our National Islands Plan

Following the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, the Scottish Government launched the first ever National Islands Plan (NIP) in December 2019 with 13 strategic objectives aimed at improving outcomes for island communities.  SIF worked closely with the Islands Team on the NIP community consultation and now has a dedicated NIP Project Officer in place to support implementation of the NIP and facilitate further island community engagement.

You can view the NIP here and the input gathered through the community consultation.

Smart Islands in Scotland and Europe

SIF is a member of the European Small Island Federation (ESIN).   Very much valued for the connection it creates between all our island, ESIN is also a key vehicle for campaigning for recognition of the smaller island situation at all levels.  Recent outcomes of this partnership have included the Smart Islands Initiative and the Clean Energy for EU Islands programme.

Making links with research

Reliable, accurate data about our islands is important for development and decision-making but is difficult to come by.  There is huge interest in islands and a lot of interesting research taking place but sometimes it can be remote from island communities.  SIF is building links with a range of research and academic bodies.