Equality Data Improvement Programme project board - highlight report: August 2023

Paper from the meeting of the group on 22 August 2023.

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: 22/8/2023
Period covering: 24/3/2023-18/8/2023
Report date: 18/8/2023
RAG last period: Amber
RAG this period: Green

Summary of overall progress 

The overall status of the programme is green as the Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-2025, was published on 24 March 2023 and we have now entered the implementation phase of the strategy.  

Analysts across the Scottish Government and NRS are now progressing the agreed equality data improvement actions, set from now until the end of 2025. Of the 45 actions in the strategy, the majority are either ‘complete’ (6 actions) or ‘on course’ (21 actions). There are 13 actions that are ‘not yet started’ (as expected) and five actions that are ‘delayed’ 

This report sets out some highlights from the progress made since the publication of the strategy.

Project achievements for this period

Update on evidence strategy actions


  • adopted the Census question as standard across statistical products and implementation is ongoing
  • published an evidence review, summarising quantitative evidence relating to ethnicity in the justice system
  • a new analysis of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) findings has been undertaken, combining the previous nine surveys. This means that analysis by ethnicity is possible for the first time. The results have been published
  • carried out a review of ethnicity data within Core Operating Solutions (COS). Due to the partial roll out of Core Operating Solutions (COS) so far, may be in a position to produce more deep-dive related ethnicity data by spring 2024
  • support and promotion of best practice is ongoing through the work of the Cross Justice Working Group on Race Data and Evidence

Social Security

  • client survey summary reports have been published, providing equality breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and SIMD where base sizes allow. The published summary tables provide an ‘at a glance’ oversight of which variables show equality breakdowns
  • in July 2023 a client diversity report was published alongside the annual report for 2022/23. This looked at applications and award outcomes by age, disability, gender, religion, ethnicity and disability



  • an update to Scotland’s Gender Equality Index is underway and will be published in late 2023
  • equality analysis of Time Use data is now nearing completion. Publications reporting how different groups of people spent their time during 2020 and 2023 will be published in autumn 2023

Housing and homelessness

  • project underway to determine feasibility of gathering homelessness equality data 

Health and social care

  • an initial review of women’s health data landscape and consultation with Scottish Government stakeholders has been undertaken. Engagement with stakeholders and dataset owners has commenced and remains ongoing. Data extractions from SPIRE (for endometriosis and menopause), and the Acute hospital activity and NHS beds information dataset (for a range of women’s health conditions and procedures) have been completed and analysis is underway to support initial priorities agreed with SG stakeholders
  • work on a Care Home Data Review report is underway. The report will contain a number of recommendations around data quality, coverage and coherence and the requirement for equalities data will be a key consideration

Local government

  • new data tables, published in April 2023, include equalities breakdowns for gender, age, ethnicity, disability

Labour market and employability 


  • carried out a further consultation to gather feedback from data users on their requirements for census outputs, including those related to protected characteristics. Outputs on sexual orientation and trans status/history, new for 2022, will allow for new analysis

Communications and engagement

The Equality Analysis team:

  • established monitoring arrangements with a network of lead analysts which will help progress projects and provide information for future updates to EDIP Board meetings
  • presented on the EDIP at an event with the NSET Equality and HRs Policy Network Session - Equality Evidence Strategy and Labour Market actions
  • presented on intersectionality to Health and Social Care Analysis colleagues

Milestones/tasks planned but not achieved

Five planned improvement actions within the Strategy are currently noted as being ‘delayed’. These are:

  • action 1: Relating to looked after children data, work to publish statistics for the ‘Prefer not to say’ option is underway but it is not possible to publish statistics yet. Additional validation of ethnicity data introduced. Consultation on collection of trans status data postponed (expected in 2023)
  • action 2: Relating to child protection data, work to improve completeness of ethnicity data is complete. Additional breakdowns by equalities characteristic not yet competed. As above, disability data review underway, and 'Prefer not to say' data collection underway, but consultation on trans status data postponed (expected in 2023)
  • action 27: Relating to the Health and Care Experience Survey, work has begun to produce cross-tabulations of headline survey results by equalities variables and publish them, but other work priorities and a lack of capacity within the branch mean that the project is behind schedule
  • action 32: Relating to the Mental Health Inpatients Census (MHIC), we will assess options for protected characteristics data to be expanded ahead of the 2024/25 data collection
  • action 45: Relating to the Small Area Statistics on Households and Dwellings, consultation with local authorities about the feasibility and cost of providing more granular data on households with 'disregarded' adults has been delayed into 2023-24. This will be progressed in autumn 2023. In advance of that, an analysis is being prepared of council level data on a) dwellings subject to a disabled reduction - dwellings that have been adapted in some way for a qualifying person, ie someone ‘who is substantially and permanently disabled (whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise)'; and b) dwellings occupied only by one or more severe mentally impaired persons. This analysis will help inform what data will be sought at a more granular level

Plans for next period

  • Equality Analysis team to publish ‘Time Use in Scotland’ Reports and progress with the Gender Equality Index 2023 
  • JAS colleagues undertaking a literature review on the experiences of domestic abuse and barriers to support for minority ethnic women. An internship opportunity is currently being advertised which, subject to a suitable applicant, will undertake quantitative intersectional analysis of the partner abuse module of the SJCS using a pooled data sample
  • Social Security Scotland will publish client diversity and equalities analysis in August 2023. This will look at equality groups by outcome of application across all benefits with application forms, including Adult Disability Payment
  • intersectional data development has commenced, with the first evidence synthesis on minority ethnic women's experiences underway
  • additional equality data will be included in the next iteration of Transport and Travel in Scotland
  • Reported Road Casualties report due for publication in October 2023, potentially including ethnicity information for those receiving hospital care as a result of road traffic accidents

disability and transport report due for publication this autumn

Key risks

Risk no. 1: Some actions within the Equality Evidence Strategy are not taken forward by analysts    
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 the Analytical Leadership Group (ALG), along with the Chief Statistician and Chief Social Researcher.  
Impact of Actions on Risks: Development of the equality evidence base would be impacted  

Risk no. 2: Resources – staffing changes within equality analysis team and wider analytical group 
Severity (1-5): 3
Probability (1-5): 4
Actions: Ensure that any new staff taking up roles are well briefed of their responsibilities with regards to equality data improvement.  
Impact of Actions on Risks: Potential delays to actions being taken forward by equality analysis  

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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