Equality Data Improvement Programme project board - highlight report: June 2022

Paper from the meeting of the group on 29 June 2022.

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:
29/6/2022 (meeting cancelled due to high numbers of members unable to attend)

Period covering: 11 May 2022 to  24 June 2022

Report date: 24 June 2022

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 preparations to launch the consultation but, due to competing pressures and staff absence within the team, it has not been possible to progress the lived experience action which identified as a priority for this period. In addition, due to delays in launching the consultation, publication of the new strategy by the end of the year is no longer feasible. We are therefore notifying the Project Board that the publication of the Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-25 will be delayed until end February 2023. 

The most significant achievements in this period were:

  • preparing the written consultation for launch on Citizen Space on 1 July. This consultation will inform the development of the next Equality Evidence Strategy

Project achievements for this period


  • the Equality Analysis Team has prepared the consultation paper and consultation questions. We have received approval from the Minister for Equalities and Older People and the consultation is now ready to launch on 1 July. The consultation will be live for 12 weeks, closing on 23 September. The consultation paper will be accompanied by Easy Read and Large Print versions
  • we have also finalised the Stakeholder Engagement Approach document, which has been sent for publication on the EDIP webpage. This will be linked to in the consultation paper
  • the Equality Analysis Team is underway with updating the NPF Data Explorer to improve transparency about data gaps in equality breakdowns from the indicators – this work will be affected in the short term due to loss of a staff member to the Ukraine response
  • data linkage project - work to design, build and test the equality protected dataset is underway. The dataset will then be tested and evaluated to assess data quality and coverage, comparing against published sources of population data on equalities characteristics where possible. (Duncan Buchanan to update the Project Board on this work)
  • the Equality Analysis team have organised a seminar on intersectionality for SG policymakers and analysts to disseminate findings from the Using intersectionality to understand structural inequality in Scotland: evidence synthesis report. Talat Yaqoob will be a key speaker. The event will take place on 18 July. We have received the maximum number of sign-ups for this event (100 people) so are exploring how we can increase capacity

Communications and engagement

  • Jon presented on the EDIP at the Racialised Health Inequalities Steering Group event on 14 June
  • Roger Halliday provided an update on the EDIP at the LGBTQ Data Summit on 23 June
  • the Equality Analysis Team met the Justice Analysis Equality Team on 24 June as part of a new series of regular engagement meetings to discuss common issues

Milestones/tasks planned but not achieved

The following task was planned but not achieved during this period:

  • due to competing pressures and staffing changes at ONS we have not yet had capacity to develop solid plans for the lived experience project. We are still seeking more information on the size of the Scotland sample in some of their work including the ‘Social Contract’. This will be prioritised following the launch of the consultation

Plans for next period

  • organise virtual stakeholder engagement events where stakeholders will be able to provide their views on the proposed improvement actions, including any gaps. We will consider the use of independent facilitators. 
  • prepare procurement documentation for the analysis of consultation responses. The analysis contract will be advertised following the close of the consultation
  • Hold intersectionality seminar on 18 July

Key risks

Risk no. 1: There is insufficient time to produce the Equality Evidence Strategy following conclusion of the stakeholder consultation

Severity (1-5): 4 
Probability (1-5): 5
Actions: We have flagged to the Minister that publication of the new strategy by the end of the year is no longer feasible. We are therefore notifying the Project Board that the publication of the Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-25 will be delayed until end February 2023. 

Impact of Actions on Risks: The actions are expected to reduce the probability of this risk.

Risk no. 2: Lack of statistician support prevents us from progressing as fast as we would like

Severity (1-5): 4 
Probability (1-5): 5
Actions: Our B1 statistician has been redeployed to work on the Ukraine response within Scottish Government for 3 days per week. We are in line to get 0.5 time of a B2 statistician in next round of recruitment but unlikely to be in post until after the summer. 

Impact of Actions on Risks: The team will continue to explore resourcing options including innovative ways to resource the project. This should help reduce the risk. 

Risk no. 3: There is not sufficient lived experience engagement in the EDIP programme

Severity (1-5): 3 
Probability (1-5): 3
Actions: This was discussed previous Project Board meetings. The Equality Analysis team is developing a proposal for this action which builds on work already underway by the ONS. 

Impact of Actions on Risks: We are aware that the ONS are carrying out a range of lived experience projects as part of the Inclusive Data Taskforce, some of which include a Scottish sample.

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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