Race equality framework for Scotland 2016 to 2030

This framework sets out our approach to promoting race equality and tackling racism and inequality between 2016 and 2030.

Appendix 2: Overview of the Involvement Process

Involving people in the development of a Race Equality Framework for Scotland

The Scottish Government has taken unprecedented steps to involve communities and stakeholders in the policy development process for the new Race Equality Framework for Scotland.

Working closely with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights ( CRER), an in depth approach to engagement and involvement has been taken from the earliest stages of the development process. The aim was to create a Race Equality Framework based on the priorities, needs and experiences of Scotland's minority ethnic communities, with expertise contributed by the public and voluntary sectors and academia to ensure that the Framework is practical and deliverable. Views from wider society were also incorporated through an open survey.

In contrast to traditional methods of consultation, where the draft publication that is offered for comment may be in its final stages, the Race Equality Framework for Scotland was developed entirely based on the results of stakeholder engagement, cross‑referenced with evidence from desk-based research.

The involvement process took place through these main areas of activity:

  • Community Ambassadors' Programme
  • Reference Planning Groups
  • Strategic Action Forums
  • Survey on race equality in Scotland
  • Additional work to engage stakeholders who may not have participated in these, for example through the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Racial Equality and the Black Leadership Network

This paper provides an overview of the first four of these areas of activity, which are the most easily quantifiable. In total, these activities have reached an estimated 650-700 people (allowing for the fact that some people participated in more than one of these).

Community Ambassadors' Programme

The Community Ambassadors' Programme is an innovative community engagement mechanism developed by CRER in partnership with the Scottish Community Development Centre which has been used to link members of minority ethnic communities into the development of the Scottish Government's new Race Equality Framework for Scotland.

Through the Community Ambassadors' Programme, minority ethnic community representatives nominated by grassroots organisations and groups across Scotland received training and support to conduct structured focus groups with community members. The focus groups used a structured workbook to gather solution-focused information about community members' needs and priorities on race equality in Scotland.

The information recorded in the workbooks was transferred into an evidence database which, along with the evidence from the Strategic Action Forums and Survey, was used as the initial basis for scoping and developing the Framework's content. A report was developed to provide feedback to Community Ambassadors and participants on the overall results of the Community Ambassadors' Programme.

Sixty-two Community Ambassadors undertook the initial training, with 42 workbooks returned. These Community Ambassadors supported 347 members of minority ethnic communities to have their voices heard in the policy development process. The Community Ambassadors also had an input from their own viewpoint as part of their training, bringing the number of community members involved through the programme to 389.

Community Ambassadors completing the programme represented the following 33 organisations (some organisations nominated Community Ambassadors from more than one of their projects):

Active Life Club
African Caribbean Women's Association
African Scottish Development Organisation
Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre
Association of African Communities in Renfrewshire
Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
Edinburgh Women's Interfaith Group
Karibu Scotland
Lanarkshire Chinese Association
Lithuanians in Scotland Association
Maryhill Citizens Advice Bureau Refugee and Asylum Project
MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project)
Migrant Voice
Minority Ethnic Mediation
PKAVS Minority Communities Hub
Positive Action in Housing
RCCG Potter's House
Refugee Women Strategy Group
RNIB Scotland minority ethnic project
Scottish Asylum Seeker Residents Association
Shakti Women's Aid
Scottish Highlands & Islands and Moray Chinese Association
Sikh Sanjog
Sikorski Club/North Lanarkshire Polish Community Forum
Stirling Multi Cultural Partnership
Thai Buddharam Temple and Cultural Centre
The Hidden Gardens Trust
The Well
Waverley Care
WSREC Equality Response Forum

Participants from a wide range of backgrounds were involved including (but not limited to) Lithuanian, Chinese, Syrian, Algerian, Indian, Pakistani, Polish, Thai, Slovakian Roma and a range of African communities, and also intersectional groups including minority ethnic women, Muslim and Sikh women, young people, older people, carers and disabled people.

Reference Planning Groups

The Scottish Government convened four Reference Planning Groups to assist with planning and evidence gathering in four thematic areas which had been identified through an initial sift of evidence on race equality in Scotland, initial discussions between Scottish Government officials and key race and faith equality strategic partners ( BEMIS, CEMVO Scotland, Scottish Refugee Council, and Interfaith Scotland) along with CRER and the EHRC, combined with information on the devolved responsibilities of the Scottish Government:

  • Community cohesion and safety
  • Participation and representation
  • Education, employment and income
  • Health, wellbeing, family and home

Each reference planning group brought together a small group of people with particular expertise in these areas from the public sector, the voluntary sector and from academia. CRER assisted with co-ordination. CEMVO Scotland, BEMIS and the Scottish Refugee Council participated in all four groups, and approximately 40 people took part in total. In each case, Scottish Government officials from relevant policy areas were also involved. Each group met once, with opportunities to follow up discussions by email throughout the policy development process.

Reference Planning Group members were asked to:

  • Take part in a scoping discussion to help plan a series of four Strategic Action Forums
  • Identify key stakeholders working at both senior and operational levels across sectors in the relevant areas, which formed the basis for the invitation list of each Strategic Action Forum
  • Assist in gathering research evidence to inform the development of four thematic evidence papers as part of the evidence base for developing the Race Equality Framework

Strategic Action Forums

The Scottish Government organised four full-day Strategic Action Forums with support from CRER, bringing together key stakeholders from the public and voluntary sectors and academia to discuss 'What works for race equality, how do we know it works and how can we do more of it?' These events were co‑chaired by representatives from the Scottish Government's three race equality partner organisations and CRER alongside Scottish Government officials. Each of the four Action Forums covered one of the thematic areas previously described:

  • Community cohesion and safety, co-chaired by CEMVO Scotland
  • Participation and representation, co-chaired by Scottish Refugee Council
  • Education, employment and income, co-chaired by CRER
  • Health, wellbeing, family and home, co-chaired by BEMIS

This approach provided more time to discuss each issue, and made it possible to bring together a range of stakeholders working in specific areas of policy to create a solution-focused, in-depth dialogue. In total, there were 120 participants across the four Action Forums (this includes a small number of people who attended more than one).

As with the Community Ambassadors' Programme, participants' views were recorded by facilitators in a structured workbook format. The information recorded in the workbooks was transferred into an evidence database which, along with the evidence from the other involvement activities, was used to scope and develop the Framework's content. Reports were developed to provide feedback to participants on the overall results of each Action Forum.

Participants were provided with a range of useful papers in advance, including an Interim Evidence Paper for each of the four thematic areas. These were developed by CRER, with assistance from CEMVO Scotland on the first of these. The Interim Evidence Papers were further developed following the Action Forums, setting out the wide range of evidence used in developing the Race Equality Framework in detail. These final Evidence Papers were published alongside the launch of the Framework.

Survey on race equality in Scotland

For the final stage of engagement, a survey was carried out to gather wider views from all interested parties on the issues which should be prioritised by the Framework. It included multiple choice questions assessing levels of confidence in the work currently being done across the Framework's thematic areas and more widely, along with a range of open, qualitative questions designed to allow the maximum freedom for people to suggest what needs to change in order to better progress race equality.

The survey was primarily hosted online, with alternative formats available on request. It was promoted widely by CRER, the Scottish Government and a wide range of other organisations. A total of 175 responses from organisations and individuals were received, and these have been analysed alongside the existing evidence base.


Along with the evidence from desk-based research, all of the evidence gathered through the engagement process has been incorporated into four thematic evidence papers, published alongside the launch of the Framework in spring 2016. This allows the evidence to be shared widely and incorporated into a wider range of policy making and service design processes across the public and voluntary sectors. The intention is that these papers will form part of a growing body of accessible, practical evidence which can inform the implementation of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland over the next 15 years.

Communication with stakeholders has been ongoing in the lead up to the launch of the Framework. This included providing comprehensive feedback to participants in the Community Ambassadors' Programme and Strategic Action Forums, as well as providing information about the launch of the Framework.

The Race Equality Framework for Scotland is intended to be a 'living document' and will be subject to regular monitoring and review, with updates where needed to ensure effectiveness in the implementation process. As part of this, the Scottish Government is committed to involving communities and other key stakeholders across the life of the Framework from 2016 to 2030.

Fairer Scotland conversation

Over 2015, the Scottish Government also held a national discussion about what a Fairer Scotland would look like in 2030. The aim was to create opportunities for the widest possible range of voices to be heard. This included a series of events over Autumn 2015 which brought people from across the country to discuss what practical steps we need to take to create a fairer Scotland.

The views and ideas will contribute to the development of a Social Justice Action Plan - to be published in 2016. As part of this work we engaged minority ethnic communities in a range of events which took place all over Scotland including Dundee, Glasgow and Fife and which involved people from a range of African, refugee and Muslim communities and many others. These views also have influenced the development of the Race Equality Framework.

A summary report detailing the key issues discussed as part of Fairer Scotland is available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/8727.


Email: race-equality-team@gov.scot

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