Interim Governance Group to Develop National Anti-Racist Infrastructure minutes: April 2022

Minutes of the first Interim Governance Group to Develop National Anti-Racist Infrastructure meeting on 20 April 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Dr Addy Adelaine, International Social Worker and expert on action research and inclusive accountability
  • Moi Ali, author and expert on communications and marketing
  • Tuoyo Ayiku, Head of the community-based charity Heart of Africa and manager of the Heart in the Community Café
  • Jatin Haria, Executive Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
  • Dr Ima Jackson, Co-Chair, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Micheal Matovu, Co-Founder of Radiant and Brighter
  • Professor Nasar Meer, Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Gina Netto, Reader in International and Forced Migration at Heriot-Watt University (Expertise in racialised inequity)
  • Dr Mark Wong, Lecturer in Public Policy and Research Methods at Glasgow University (expertise in artificial intelligence and ethnicity data collation)
  • Talat Yaqoob, Co-Chair, Independent consultant and social researcher across equalities issues


  • Dr Halima Begum, CEO Runnymede Trust
  • Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director for London in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • Monica Lee-McPherson, Head of Scottish Highlands and Islands and Moray Chinese Association (SHIMCA)

Scottish Government

  • Gavin Henderson, Deputy Director, Keeping the Promise
  • Jeff Macdonald, Policy Adviser
  • Frankie McLean, Team Lead, Race Equality
  • Secretariat: Charlie Goodwin-Smith, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Key discussion points

  • the group was formed as part of the fulfilment of the recommendations of the Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity (ERG). Specifically the recommendation to establish an independent observatory/repository
  • the lack of deep scrutiny and accountability, and an implementation gap between policy creation and the delivery of anti-racist action by the Scottish Government
  • the need to shift the culture within Scottish Government to make progress, citing that there are too many working groups often working in silo, rather than taking joined-up approach
  • differing views on the use of terminology were expressed and discussed. It was agreed that the Co-chairs would meet to review the conversation, seek further guidance, and amend the Terms of Reference in order to propose reviewed Terms of Reference for sign of at the second meeting
  • a contradiction was highlighted: that the group intends not to look at Race Equality work outside of the Immediate Priorities Plan, but also that it does intend to look at wider issues, and maintaining links to the Race Equality Framework
  • a list of accountability questions concerning various aspects of the progress of the Immediate Priorities Plan.  The group will request responses from Senior Civil Servants within a proposed four-week time frame (with a view for group members to review responses ahead of discussing next steps at future group meetings)
  • the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Racism Review Work – Broad Overview: this item was missed to provide more room for discussion elsewhere in the agenda.
  • the Co-Chairs recommended resourcing and status for this group must be on par with The Promise moving forwards
  • further presentations from the Keeping the Promise division will be offered to the group at a later stage if helpful


  • group members to explore the lack of in-depth scrutiny/accountability and how the implementation gap in Scottish Race Equality Policy Delivery can be overcome
  • group members to explore how to change the culture within Scottish Government to make tangible progress via moving towards working in a more joined-up approach
  • Scottish Government to provide suggestions on amendments to the Terms of Reference (to explicitly mention system change and to identify that decision-making around members’ appointments is fairly attributed) and distribute to group members for comment
  • group members to consider developing a definition of race/racism (and any workable measures) within the Terms of Reference
  • group members to identify and propose wider issues which are important to feed into the Immediate Priories Plan, Race Equality Framework and all other relevant Policy work within Scottish Government
  • group members to confirm accountability process and list of accountability questions, specific to individual to Immediate Priorities Plan recommendations, for response from Senior Civil Servants
  • Scottish Government to share next Immediate Priorities Plan quarterly report with the group members to discuss in subsequent meetings
  • Secretariat to add The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) review to meeting agenda for second meeting
  • Secretariat to invite Fiona Duncan to attend next meeting to provide an overview of accountability
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