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

Paper from the meeting of the group on 14 November 2023.

Project name: Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP)
Senior Responsible Officer: Mick Wilson, Head of Communities Analysis Division
Project Manager: Beth Cocker /Maisy Best
Next project meeting: 14/11/2023
Period covering: 19/08/2023 – 08/11/2023
Report date: 08/11/2023
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, which are all due for completion by the end of 2025. Action leads provided an update on progress in October 2023.

Of the 45 actions in the strategy:

  • nine are complete, an increase from 6 at the August progress update
  • 21 are on course, the same number as the August progress update
  • four are delayed, a reduction from 5 at the August progress update 
  • 11 are not yet started, a reduction from 13 at the August progress update

Project achievements for this period

  • Equality Analysis published two ‘Time Use in Scotland’ reports in September and October 2023 available on data.gov.scot
  • work has commenced on the first evidence synthesis on the experiences of people with intersecting characteristics, which will focus on minority ethnic women's experiences, and we are planning on publishing in late 2023/early 2024
  • Social Security Scotland published client diversity and equalities analysis up to March 2023 on 22 August 2023. This looked at equality analysis by outcome of application across all benefits with application forms, including the two disability benefits for the first time - Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment. The publication will be annual and the team are on track to consider additional intersectionality analysis by 2025 
  • in July 2023 a client diversity report was published which looked at Scottish Welfare Fund applications and award outcomes by age, disability, gender, religion, ethnicity and disability. It also considered data coverage with respect to equalities data across local authorities. Further analysis of the data is planned using the client diversity report as the basis for further exploration
  • an internship has been recruited to explore potential methods for quantitative intersectional analysis of the partner abuse module of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) using a pooled data sample
  • data on Reported Road Casualties was published in October 2023
  • the latest Disability and Transport report was published in October 2023
  • work is progressing in NRS to improve data on council tax in households with a disabled adult. An initial analysis of council level data on the number of dwellings subject to a disabled reduction has been completed

Milestones/tasks planned but not achieved

Four actions are currently delayed:

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. Revised timetable TBC.

Action 2: Relating to child protection data, work to improve the completeness of ethnicity data is complete. Additional breakdowns by equalities characteristics not yet complete. As above, disability data review underway, and 'Prefer not to say' data collection underway, but consultation on trans status data postponed. Revised timetable TBC.

Action 22: By the end of 2023, we will carry out and publish a review of available quantitative and qualitative evidence on the experiences of non-binary people in Scotland. Work is underway to review evidence and we anticipate publishing in spring 2024

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. This action was originally due for completion at the end of 2023, but work will continue into 2024

Plans for next period

  • an update to Scotland’s Gender Equality Index 2023 will be published on 12 December 2023
  • a literature review on minority ethnic women's experiences across a range of policy areas will be published in late 2023/early 2024
  • 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 due to be published in Nov / Dec 2023
  • additional equalities data will be included in the next iteration of Transport and Travel In Scotland will be published in early 2024

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): 5
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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