Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP) project board meeting - highlight report: December 2021

Paper from the meeting of the group on 15 December 2021.

Highlight report

Project name: Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP)

Senior Responsible Officer: Mick Wilson, Head of Communities Analysis Division

Project Manager: Jon Hunter/Maisy Best

Next project meeting: 15 December 2021

Period covering: 27 October 2021 to 10 December 2021

Report date: 20 October 2021

RAG last period: amber

RAG this period: amber

Summary of overall progress 

The overall status of the project is Amber as we have made progress on a number of key actions, but there are a small number of actions that were planned but not achieved. The most significant achievements in this period were:

  • the progression of the Equality Data Audit, including a summary of race data
  • publication of good practice case studies on equality data collection and use in the public sector
  • the progression of equality question guidance notes
  • the progression of the NPF project
  • the progression of the intersectionality report
  • further mapping of EDIP to ONS Inclusive Data Taskforce projects
  • groundwork for lived experience commission
  • presentation of EDIP at Audit Scotland Strategic Scrutiny Board

Project achievements for this period


  • further to the completion of the Equality Data Audit templates which were received from analytical services divisions (ASDs) in October, equality analysts have led a series of meetings with each ASD outlining the next stage of the process
  • ASDs have been asked that priority datasets are now identified i.e. those where there is potential to improve or where there is a push from stakeholders, ASDs will be asked to make it clear why each data set is chosen and explain why those that aren’t are not included
  • in the new year ASDs will draft up improvement plans to be shared with stakeholders and will be provided with a template and guidance on this, a summary of the race data within the audit has been produced and shared with the programme board
  • case studies of good practice on equality data collection and use in the public sector were published by the Scottish Government on 3 December 2021:
  • the set of refreshed draft guidance notes on the equality questions, largely based on the 2022 Census questions, have been sent to Scottish Government policy colleagues for comment and input, it is expected that these will be published in early 2022
  • the NPF project has been progressed – a B1 statistician in the Equality Analysts Team and a PhD intern in the NPF team have worked together over the period to assess what equality breakdowns are available for each NPF indicator across six of the national outcomes
  • equality analysis team completed a draft version of the intersectionality paper, this report presents a summary of available literature on the concept and applications of intersectionality, the report is intended as a resource to build the knowledge and expertise among public sector analysts and policy makers required to analyse, report and use equality data to develop effective services for those with intersecting protected characteristics, the Equality Analysis team have established indicators of success for intersectionality report, the draft report will be shared with board members to provide an opportunity for those who wish to comment
  • there has been commencement of work to identify where intersectionality data breakdowns are currently provided, and where there is scope to increase the publication of intersectional data breakdowns from the population surveys, this work is being taken forward by an PhD intern
  • equality analysis team provided on ONS with a further mapping of EDIP project to those within the Inclusive Data Taskforce and currently investigating areas for potential collaboration
  • the SG have started to review recommendations arising from the community engagement work carried out by Justice Analysis colleagues
  • work has been progressed on a project to identify potential case studies from the Scottish Government or wider public sector on how equality data helped drive changes in policy development or service design, the board will be asked to disseminate an email on this with their networks

Communications and engagement

  • inclusion of an article linking to blog post on Scottish Government statistics blog in the ‘hot topic’ section of the November addition of the Data and Intelligence Network (D and IN) Newsletter
  • EDIP presentation at Audit Scotland Strategic Scrutiny Board on 16th November, received written feedback from the group on data gaps
  • further developed a proposal to participate in the ‘Evidence in Holyrood’ week which should help MSPs and their staff gain a better understanding of the barriers and challenges to collecting, analysing and reporting equality data, and the role of the EDIP, this will now take place in March 2022 and will be a joint venture with the SG mainstreaming team

Milestones/tasks planned but not achieved

  • the next analytical gathering, on sex/gender data, has been postponed due to uncertainty around the final 2022 Census question guidance (NRS has been issued a pre-action litigation letter in relation to the sex question guidance for Scotland’s Census 2022)
  • the ‘Evidence in Holyrood’ week has been postponed until March 2022

Plans for next period

  • development of the Communications and Engagement Strategy to set out how we will engage with stakeholders in 2022 to inform the next Equality Evidence Strategy
  • the Equality Analysis team will further engage with ASDs to oversee draft improvement plans to be shared with stakeholders, a template and guidance will be provided to analytical teams
  • the Equality Analysis team will progress with the lived experience commission by scoping what has already been done with respect to barriers to research participation/data provision among marginalised groups
  • the Equality Analysis team will further progress the NPF project, continuing to systematically review the protected characteristic breakdowns currently published for each NPF indicator

Key risks

Risk number one: Equality Data Audit improvement plans are not progressed by analysts within agreed timescales or are not of desirable quality

Severity (one to five ): four
Probability (one to five): two

  • established an internal network to support with the Equality Data Audit, the Equality Analysis Team have met with lead analysts from each analytical area, achieved buy in, and agreed that they will develop draft improvement plans in early 2022 to share with stakeholders

Risk number two: lack of statistician support (vacant B2 post) prevents us from progressing as fast as we would like

Severity (one to five): three 

Probability (one to five): three


  • SGSSS intern has been recruited (start date to 1 November), vacancy flagged in next round of recruitment but unlikely to be filled until Summer 2022

Risk number three: the contract for the lived experience commission is not awarded in time meaning budget is lost

Severity (one to five): four

Probability (one to five): three


  • we will prioritise the commissioning of this work, including identifying potential contractors in advance and contacting them to scope their capacity to undertake the work

Project RAG status key

Red: some risks/issues require immediate attention from the Programme Manager/Challenge Owner/Lead

Amber: some risks/issues are self contained within tolerances

Green: project is proceeding on schedule

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