Equality Budget Advisory Group: recommendations for equality and human rights budgeting - 2021-2026 parliamentary session

Recommendations for the 2021 to 2026 parliamentary session from the Equality Budget Advisory Group.

Knowledge and understanding

Organisational capacity within Scottish Government for equality and human rights analysis is perhaps the main organisational development required. Feedback from the 2020-21 EFSBS process indicated that a key barrier to effective budget analysis was a lack of evidence in some areas about the impact that policies are having, and a lack of understanding of the relevance of equalities and human rights analysis across all policy domains.

While good progress has been made and there is now widespread recognition of the need to focus on both equalities and human rights, there is a noticeable lack of human rights-based content in the published documentation. Knowledge within government of how to undertake equalities and, perhaps especially, human rights-based analysis, needs developing. Capacity needs to be built through training and individual knowledge building and skill development. EBAG, along with the Mainstreaming Strategy Group, and the Equality and Human Rights Division of the Scottish Government, can support the design of a training and development programme to be delivered across departments.

Equality and human rights budgeting are current concerns and the focus of process and practice developments in the other devolved administrations of the UK. There is an appetite for sharing learning between the devolved governments among ministers and officials. A programme of knowledge exchange would be of considerable practical benefit, particularly in addressing shared concerns around developing and applying analytical tools while avoiding the cognitive overload of multiple assessment processes.


28. Scottish Government increases cross-office competence by increasing the capacity for running training and providing advice on:

  • structural inequalities and dimensions of equalities analysis

  • domestic and international legislation including Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and international human rights standards
  • effective equality impact assessments in the context of multiple impact assessment process
  • inclusive public participation on budget formulation and evaluation of outcomes

29. Scottish Government commits to continuous improvement of the equality evidence base such that officials have better access to, and knowledge of, relevant data and evidence and have an improved understanding of the structural nature of inequalities.

30. Officials are required to undertake mandatory equality impact training every three years.

31. Design and deliver a programme of shared learning and knowledge exchange in partnership with devolved governments from autumn 2021 onwards.


Equality Budget Advisory Group

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