Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP) project board minutes: March 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the project board held on 23 March 2022.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Government

  • Audrey MacDougall (AM), Chief Social Researcher (Chair)
  • Roger Halliday (RH), Chief Statistician
  • Liz Hawkins (LH), Senior Principal Researcher, Equality and Social Justice Analysis
  • Jonathan Wright (JW), Senior Principal Researcher, Equality and Social Justice Analysis
  • Jon Hunter (JH), Statistician, Equality Analysis Team
  • Maisy Best (MB), Social Researcher, Equality Analysis Team
  • Nanjika Nasiiro (NN), Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights Directorate
  • David Holmes (DH), Directorate for Chief Economist


  • Sandra Robb (SR), Public Health Scotland (PHS)
  • Sarah Munro, Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
  • Alan White, Non-Departmental Public Bodies Equality Forum (NDPB Equality Forum)
  • Mark McAllister, COSLA
  • Lesley Crozier, Scottish Council’s Equality Network


  • Nick Bland, Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights Directorate
  • Trevor Owen, Directorate for Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights
  • Duncan Buchanan, PHS
  • Steven Reid, NDPB Equality Forum
  • Emily Lynch, Improvement Service

Items and actions


AM welcomed attendees to the meeting and invited introductions.

Following introductions, AM summarised the agenda for the meeting - to update on progress; to provide an update from PHS; and to discuss the proposed stakeholder engagement approach for the next iteration of Scotland’s Equality Evidence Strategy.

Progress update

JH provided an overview of the Highlight Report (Paper 1). JH highlighted a new risk around the possibility of there being insufficient lived experience input into the EDIP as the planned commission has been postponed to avoid duplication with work being carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). JH invited views from the Project Board.

AM asked whether the work being carried out by the ONS includes a Scottish sample. JH confirmed that further clarification on the scope of the ONS projects will be sought. JH noted that if the ONS work does include a Scottish sample, this might reduce the need for a separate lived experience commission as part of the EDIP.

Attendees highlighted the need to reduce the burden on individuals with lived experience, communities and stakeholder organisations arising from the range of engagement work being carried out across the Scottish Government. Attendees agreed that there is benefit in reviewing what existing lived experience work is being carried out and seeking to collaborate where possible to reduce burden and maximise the impact of the available EDIP resource. Attendees highlighted a need to be clear on how input from those with lived experience and stakeholder organisations will be, and has been, used. 

AM asked about the aim of the lived experience research in the EDIP. JH clarified that the main objective would be to examine issues of trust and barriers experienced by people with intersecting protected characteristics to understand why certain groups are underrepresented in data, and ways to mitigate these issues. AM suggested carrying out a review to understand what is already known with a view to seeking views on possible solutions.

AM suggested bringing back a revised proposal to the Project Board on how this issue will be addressed.

PHS update

SR provided an update on activities undertaken by PHS, including work to respond to the recommendations of the Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity. SR flagged a recently published PHS report on monitoring health inequalities experienced by minority ethnic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RH noted that it would be helpful to ensure that PHS and SG are joined up in terms of the advice given around equality data collection, analysis and use, and asked how it would be best to plan this. SR agreed that it makes sense to have a consistent message across the public sector.

NN flagged that SG officials are setting up a steering group to look at racial inequalities health and social care and provided contacts. NN suggested that it would be helpful to link into this policy development and delivery.

Draft engagement approach for the development of Scotland’s Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-25

MB presented an overview of the proposed stakeholder engagement approach for the development of the next iteration of the Equality Evidence Strategy (paper 2 - will be published once finalised).

RH noted that it is important to be clear on what we can control and what we cannot, and what we are asking of people.

RH suggested adding detail about how each group will be reached as some of the communication channels identified will not reach all of the groups identified.

AM suggested considering a range of channels, and there will be further work needed behind this document.

Attendees discussed the extent to which actions in the Strategy need to be related back to policy. LH noted that through the data audit we are hoping that policy areas will have been involved as part of the data audit, but there is a need consider further.

Attendees identified other engagement action, including with Young Scot, and noted that NRS might have some helpful advice as they have just rolled out the Census. 

AOB and close

AM thanked all for attending and for their input in the meeting. No AOB was raised.


  • SG will explore options for lived experience input into the EDIP, including scoping work already underway/planned by the ONS
  • SG and PHS to ensure join up in advice around equality data collection
  • SG to revise the engagement approach document and circulate a revised version to attendees to seek further feedback



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