Publication - Strategy/plan

Equality Data Improvement Programme: communications and engagement strategy - working document

Last updated: 27 Sep 2021 - see all updates
Published: 7 Sep 2021

A communications and engagement plan for the Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP) - working document.

Published:
7 Sep 2021
Equality Data Improvement Programme: communications and engagement strategy - working document

Objectives

The key objectives of communications and engagement in relation to the first phase of the EDIP are:

  • to engage with and gather input from a wide range of stakeholders to inform the implementation of the first phase of the EDIP and the development of next iteration of the Equality Evidence Strategy
  • to ensure that projects within the EDIP are informed by the views and expertise of those with knowledge of equality data collection, analysis, presentation and use
  • to ensure the views of people with lived experience of wide ranging protected characteristics and intersectionalities (“experts through experience”) are gathered and used to inform the approach to sharing learning and good practice
  • to ensure strong linkage with wider work programmes and groups across the public sector to mainstream equalities

Principles for communications and engagement

In undertaking communication and engagement activities related to the EDIP, the following principles will be applied:

  • collaboration – We will support the effective and efficient sharing of information and gathering of input across the public sector, including through the establishment of a Project Board, and through the regular hosting of information sharing workshops and events
  • openness – We will share key documentation and regular updates related to the programme on a dedicated webpage on the gov.scot website and significant updates via social media
  • accessibility – We will place a strong emphasis on ensuring that all outputs from the programme are accessible to a range of audiences
  • inclusivity – We will ensure that the views of experts through experience, and the organisations and networks representing a range of protected characteristics, are sought and used to shape the programme
  • integrity – We will ensure that all outputs from the programme are high quality and robust
  • proactivity – We will actively seek input, share regular updates and publish documentation

Stakeholder mapping exercise 

The Project Board brings together stakeholders from a range of public sector organisations with an interest in mainstreaming equalities and equality data improvement, with representatives from the Scottish Government. The board will engage with wider stakeholder views as part of its work, and have initially identified the following stakeholders:

Stakeholder

Interest

Engagement

Public sector bodies

Collectors and users of equality data. Will be the focus of actions to share good practice and learning, and their input will be required to disseminate key outputs and ensure join up with ongoing work across the public sector.

Representatives from public sector bodies with a key interest in mainstreaming equalities will be invited to join the Project Board.

Representatives from public sector bodies will be invited to attend workshops, consultation events and information sharing sessions, where relevant.

Academics and data experts

May wish to share expertise on data collection, analysis and presentation.

Input may be sought from academics and data experts.

The Project Board will write to selected academics and experts to arrange a meeting, where a need for input is identified.

Data owners

May be asked to share datasets or information about the datasets they own on a voluntary basis.

Data owners will be contacted where their input would be helpful.

Data collectors

May be asked to share information about the data they collect and their experiences of equality data collection on a voluntary basis.

Data collectors will be contacted where their input would be helpful.

Experts by experience 

May wish to share their experience and ensure that this is taken into account.

Their views will be sought to inform the development of the programme including ongoing and future priorities, and ensure best practice guidance reflects the experience and expertise of people with a range of protected characteristics and intersectionalities.

Experts by experience can provide input on the programme in writing to social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

Input will be sought in a project-specific basis to ensure their anonymised contribution is sought on key issues, and is coordinated in way to ensure the same groups are not overburdened.

Organisations and networks representing protected characteristics

May wish to express their views and ensure these are taken into account with respect to the protected characteristic they represent.

Input from stakeholder organisations will be sought on a project-specific basis, especially as the programme moves towards developing a new Equality Evidence Strategy and an accompanying equality evidence programme for the period 2022-2025.

Stakeholder organisations can provide input on the programme in writing to social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

The Project Board will contact stakeholder organisations, where a need for input would be helpful.

 

Regulatory and scrutiny bodies

May wish to provide their views on what equality data is collected and how it is used.

Regulatory and scrutiny bodies will be contacted, where a need for input would be helpful. 

The membership of the Project Board will be kept under review, and invitations will be extended to relevant organisations where a need for contribution would be helpful.

Local and national politicians

Users of equality data.

May wish to provide their views on equality data gaps and actions undertaken to address these, including through the EDIP.

Engagement with national politicians will be undertaken via SPICe.

Engagement with local politicians will be undertaken via COSLA and the Improvement Service.

Scottish Government analysts

Will be required to contribute to data development actions, and will be the focus of actions to share good practice and learning.

A network of lead analysts from each analytical area will be established to support communications and engagement across the Scottish Government.

Scottish Government policy professionals

Users of equality data to inform policy and delivery.

Will be the focus of actions to build skills and capability in equality data use.

Officials will undertake engagement with and provide resources for policy professionals through events and materials produced as part of the Mainstreaming Strategy.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Government Equalities Office (GEO)

Shared interest in equality data improvement, and are undertaking parallel work programmes around improving equality evidence.

Scottish Government analysts will provide regular updates to officials from ONS and GEO and seek their input where a need for contribution would be helpful.

The general public

May want to express their views and ensure these are taken into account.

A dedicated webpage on the gov.scot website has been set up to publish key documentation. Regular progress updates will be proactively published, such as through blog posts. 

Twitter will be also used to share significant updates via @EqualityPoverty

Members of the public can also provide input on the programme in writing to social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

What we already know

The Scottish Government has recently engaged, and is currently engaging, with a number of stakeholder groups on equality data improvement, including through the:

A number of views and recommendations have been provided through these groups around equality evidence. The engagements with stakeholders through the EDIP will build on views and recommendations already gathered.

Ongoing communications

As the EDIP develops, it is possible that new stakeholders will be identified and their interests may change over time. Consequently, the strategy for engaging with stakeholders will be reviewed regularly through the first phase of the programme.

The Project Board has established a web presence, with a page on the gov.scot website. The webpage is accessible here: Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP) project board - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The webpage will be used to share:

  • key documentation related to the programme, including an indicative work plan
  • project Board membership
  • project Board Terms of Reference and a minute of meetings
  • quarterly progress updates

Scottish Government officials will also share significant updates via the @EqualityPoverty Twitter account. Officials are also raising awareness of the programme through a series of presentations to internal and external analysts. In addition, a network of analysts from each analytical area within the Scottish Government has been established to support the programme and disseminate key outputs. The Project Board will assist officials with the identification of existing communication channels, such as newsletters and meetings, that could be further used to facilitate communication and engagement.

The Board will need to engage with wider stakeholders to consider their views and input on projects as they develop. It will be important to ensure timely and regular engagement with stakeholders, and that projects are clearly communicated and practical implications for public bodies are highlighted. Stakeholder input will also be critical to identify gaps in the programme and within projects, and links with ongoing work. To achieve this, the Project Board:

  • invites stakeholder input on any published material on the gov.scot web page or requests for additional information in writing to social-justice-analysis@gov.scot.
  • will proactively contact identified stakeholders where a need for input would be helpful
  • will engage in a period of extensive stakeholder engagement as the programme moves towards developing a new equality evidence strategy and an accompanying equality evidence programme for the period 2022-2025, commencing in spring/summer 2022

Sensitivities

The EDIP is expected to be of relevance to a range of public sector bodies, and will be of interest to stakeholder organisations representing protected characteristics. There is a high risk that the programme does not meet the expectations of all stakeholders who are looking for significant data development across a range of diverse areas including increased mandatory powers. The communication strategy needs to articulate the importance of ensuring a strong groundwork for equality data collection and then the establishment of agreed priorities for data development around core themes. An open government approach will be taken to ensure key outputs and regular updates are shared.

Last updated: 3 September 2021

First published: 7 Sep 2021 Last updated: 27 Sep 2021 -