This report has set out progress against our original proposals for action published in December 2013. Informed by research and feedback, each proposal was about improving effectiveness, and fostering the collaboration needed to promote equality across the public sector.
During 2014-15 we have worked with authorities, the EHRC and other partners on developing the approach to the improvement project, undertaking research and diagnostic discussion about the underlying issues impacting on performance. This has resulted in the development of a collaborative approach to improvement based on peer learning and support implemented in the context of the Scottish National Equality Improvement project.
There has been a tremendous willingness to engage in the work from across the networks and a real commitment to see improvement. It is acknowledged that there are public bodies that are making progress in their reporting and that there is good practice to be shared. The challenge is to help all to raise their game.
In November 2015 the SNEIP Sounding Board met to evaluate progress to date and to input into forward planning.
Key messages coming through were:
- the feeling that there was an increased positive energy within the equality networks
- a belief in SNEIP’s huge potential for connectedness and support
- an observation that mergers and the changing landscapes across the public sector create a greater demand for sharing and learning across sectors
- an appreciation of the unprecedented political drive on equality and the potential that this brings.
In addition to the Next Steps already identified, priorities for business planning in 2016 include:
- the development of an ambition statement to frame Phase 2
- preparing for the extension of duties to disability and race for April 2017
- exploring how can we prepare together to shape new outcomes in 2017
- developing a programme of engagement with equality communities.
These observations and the learning from all the sessions and events undertaken to date will frame the programme of work to be undertaken during Phase 2 in 2016.
The Scottish Government would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners EHRC and Close the Gap for the research and evidential work undertaken during this phase of the project. We are grateful to the Sounding Board members for their encouragement, support and attention to the SNEIP. We would also like to thank the participants at the 2015 learning events for their time and insight. We look forward to continuing to work with you all in the period ahead.