Equality Data Improvement Programme project board - highlight report: April 2024

Paper from the meeting of the group on 22 April 2024.

Project name: Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP)
Senior Responsible Officer:
Mick Wilson, Head of Communities Analysis Division
Project Manager: Beth Cocker /Molly Halligan

Next project meeting: 30/04/2024
Period covering: 26/01/2024-22/04/2024
Report date: 22/04/24
RAG last period: Green
RAG this period: Green

Summary of overall progress 

Analysts across the Scottish Government and NRS are now progressing the agreed equality data improvement actions, set from now until the end of 2025. Action leads provided an update on progress in April 2024.

Of the 45 actions in the strategy:

  • 12 are complete,  in the previous February progress update 9 were complete
  • 23 are on course, in the previous February progress update 21 were on course
  • 7 are delayed, this is the same as the February progress update
  • 3 are not yet started, in the previous February progress update 10 were not yet started

Project achievements for this period

  • the Health and Social Care Analysis team published the HACE variation analysis, completing action 27: Health and Care Experience Survey, Variations in Experience 2021/22 (data.gov.scot)
  • action 40 has been marked as complete as the Scottish Household Survey no longer collects data on ‘importance of voting’, however plans have been made to continue to monitor this question via the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey Core Module with the aim to review equality information collected in the 2024 survey
  • sweep 11 has just been completed for Growing up in Scotland and the publication, including a breakdown of equality characteristics where possible, will be made available in the second half of 2024. Commissioning for Sweep 12 has begun (data will be made available by August 2026)
  • the Cross Justice Working Group on Race Data and Evidence have carried out a number of activities to share best practices including inviting speakers to events, having discussions with Justice Organisations to understand available ethnicity data, and facilitating opportunities for peer learning
  • in relation to Action 29, an agreement has been reached on the inclusion of women’s health questions in the 2024 Scottish Health Survey (SHeS)

Delayed Milestones and tasks

Action 1: Relating to looked after children data, work to publish statistics for the ‘Prefer not to say’ option for sex is underway but it is not possible to publish statistics yet. Consultation on the collection of trans status data is postponed until the next user engagement activity which is planned for Spring with final decisions around next steps to be made in the Summer of 2024.

Action 2: Relating to child protection data, additional breakdowns by equalities characteristic not yet competed. The disability data review underway, and 'Prefer not to say' data collection underway, but consultation on trans status data is postponed until the next user engagement activity which is planned for Spring with final decisions to be made in the Summer of 2024.

Action 28 and 30: Previously marked as ‘not yet started’, these actions relate to Health and Social Care improving response rates which includes developing an easier system to input data year round, as well as plans to explore how links can be made to NPCCD for smoother data collection. The new approach aims to be in place for in-hours in 2024 and out-of-hours by 2025 onwards. A working group for the 2024 survey discussed the collection of more equality data, but suggested the surveys were not the best approach as individuals do not have access to their own data. Other approaches to obtain this data are now being considered.

Action 32: The RAP (Reusable Analytical Pipeline) project is underway for the analysis of MHIC data received. The team have identified some errors in previous iterations of the MHIC coding. Whilst they don’t expect the impact of these errors to be large, they are prioritising work to fix this and will report any changes or impacts to users in the next publication of the results, around June or July 2024. It is therefore likely that assessing options for protected characteristics data to be expanded will be delayed until the 2025/26 data collection, commencing in spring 2025.

Action 34: Primary analysis of the Scottish Household Survey transport data has been published and the team are now planning on examining what additional breakdowns can be provided.

Actions not yet Started

Action 20: This action relates to the Equality Analysis Team gathering data  and publishing findings on public attitudes to discrimination in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2024 edition. We are expecting an update and engagement with commissioning team early 2024.

Action 31: This action relates to Health and Social Care specifically ensuring that equalities data are part of annual data collection, analysis and publication going forward. This requires reviewing existing datasets, consult with stakeholders on how to gather feedback from data owners in NHS boards, revise datasets and data collection methods, implement IT system change, and improving guidance. The team have updated that this work will commence in 2024 but has not yet started.

Plans for next period

  • the Justice Analytical team will be publishing a literature review on racially minoritised women’s experiences of domestic abuse and barriers to support in 2024. In addition, a grant-funded report exploring South Asian women's perceptions and experiences of domestic abuse and justice “Diversifying Justice - Revealing domestic abuse realities and viable help seeking pathways for South Asian Women” is soon to be published (date yet to be confirmed)
  • some actions are waiting for NRS Census data to be published to progress work (Action 26 – Homelessness and Housing)
  • Additional equalities data will be included in the next iteration of Transport and Travel In Scotland which will be published in Spring 2024

Key risks

Risk no. 1

Some actions within the Equality Evidence Strategy are not taken forward by analysts, for example some action leads have indicated that their completion date will go beyond 2025 due to lack of available data.
Severity (1-5): 4 
Probability (1-5): 2
Actions: Equality analysis team have gained buy-in from a network of analysts to help drive the work forward.  The EDIP programme also has senior buy in from ALG, along with the Chief Statistician and Chief Social Researcher.

An Interim Review of the Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-25 will be published towards the end of 2024. Consideration of additional Actions or refresh of the current Actions may be possible at this stage.
Impact of Actions on Risks: Regular review of actions ensuring progress and relevance.

Risk no. 2

Staff changes within project board and network leads responsible for actions
Severity (1-5): 1
Probability (1-5):
Actions: Staff changes primarily took place at the end of 2023 and beginning of 2024. New were asked to be involved or complete the update for the previous meeting with support from their predecessor.

During the February EDIP meeting, the chair invited introductions from all new members of the Project Board. These members were sent the new ToRs and previous minutes from the last meeting for context.
Impact of Actions on Risks: Project Board are more informed of EDIPs progress to date. Analytical network leads are able to take actions forward and maintain progress updates. 

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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