Equality Data Improvement Programme project board minutes September 2021: paper - internal analytical network and equality data audit

Paper from meeting of group on 2 September 2021.

Internal analytical network 

An internal analytical network has been established, comprising analysts from all analytical areas across the Scottish Government. 

The internal analytical network will support the first phase of the EDIP by taking forward a series of asks agreed by analytical leaders in May 2021. The asks are: 

  • commit to do an audit of the current state of play for equality evidence in their area
  • commit to develop an action plan to improve equality data
  • commit to promote the importance of equality evidence collection with their own staff and with key public sector partner agencies and allow appropriate staff time/resource
  • commit to ensure that equality issues are considered by all staff as part of any new analysis (research, data collection, data reports, analytical paper) leading to a justified and auditable decision rather than an oversight
  • commit to iteratively improve and automate updates to the Equality Evidence Finder to increase the range of data available and its timeliness
  • be willing to share experiences in collecting, analysing or reporting equality data with the EDIP programme and other analytical areas
  • be willing to work with the Office of the Chief Statistician on the data linkage project, including considering the potential for data linkage of administrative data in their analytical area in order to improve understanding of diversity
  • be aware of the likely need to ramp up work in this area and to identify key areas for resource commitment in the second phase programme  

Equality data audit  

The internal analytical network will complete the first ask – an audit of equality data each area – by 15 October 2021. 

It is envisaged that the Equality Data Audit will:

  • provide an accurate picture of the data collected and published on each protected characteristic
  • consider all ‘key’ datasets in the area, defined as datasets used to produce official or national statistics, inform NPF indicator progress updates, or produce statistics that inform Ministerial decision making
  • be used to develop an action plan to improve equality evidence in each analytical area

To support with the completion of the audit, a standardised template was developed and distributed to the internal analytical network. This can be found in Annex A. 

The template gathers, for each dataset, a RAG rating for the collection and publication of data on each of the nine protected characteristics. Additional information will also be collected about the dataset and on barriers faced, and pressures and plans for equality data improvement.  

Feedback on the asks of the internal analytical network and the Equality Data Audit from the Project Board is welcomed. 

Annex A - equality data audit template

The Equality Data Audit Template gathers data on: 

  • the dataset, including dataset name; dataset type; responsible organisation; frequency of data collection; sample size; usage for national/official statistics or NPF indicator updates; and COVID-19 interruptions to the dataset
  • protected characteristics, including a RAG rating for the collection and publication of data on each of the nine protected characteristics
  • equality data improvement, including barriers faced in the collection or publication of protected characteristic data and pressures and plans for improvement

[Copy of template circulated to attendees]

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