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.

1. Overarching Work

Our Overarching Vision for 2030:

Our Vision for a fairer Scotland is that by 2030 Scotland is a place where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect, and where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally.

The Race Equality Framework aims to ensure that this vision is achieved equally for people from all ethnicities, helping to build a Scotland where we all share a common sense of purpose and belonging.

Strategic areas of work including policy and planning should provide the foundation for promoting race equality within the work of the Scottish Government and other public bodies. Making progress in these areas is essential in order to achieve the overarching vision set out here. The success of many of the visions for specific policy areas set out later in the Framework depends on having the right strategic environment.

Capacity building on race equality within Scotland's public sector organisations and effective support for voluntary and community groups working to progress equality are two key elements of this. It is essential to build an understanding of how policy and practice impacts people from minority ethnic communities into all of this overarching work. Without this understanding, structural and institutional racism can develop, making inequalities and discrimination harder to tackle.

Our key goals:

1. An accountable approach to support and drive forward the implementation of the Race Equality Framework is established

The publication of this Framework is only the first step in a 15‑year process, so ensuring that the intentions set out here can be achieved and expanded upon effectively is vital.

In our engagement with both communities and practitioners, there was a clear desire for the Framework to have strong mechanisms for implementation and monitoring.

As we have outlined previously, to ensure that we can meet the expectations set out in the Framework, our first goal will be to establish a partnership based approach to implementation and monitoring.

To achieve this goal, we will:

  • Develop our overarching approach to implementation and monitoring in partnership with key stakeholders, including governance and review arrangements, over the first six months of the Framework's life cycle
  • Develop implementation planning mechanisms to cover the initial four-year phase of work, with ongoing reviews and updates of the Framework built into longer-term planning over the 15-year period
  • Develop progress reporting mechanisms establishing a transparent, accountable approach to monitoring
  • Work with stakeholders to further explore intersectional issues around the goals and actions set out in the Framework

2. Strategic work within Scotland's public sector better addresses race equality, including through more effective practice linked to the Scottish Specific Public Sector Equality Duties

The Scottish Specific Public Sector Equality Duties provide a strong administrative and practical basis for embedding race equality in the work of Scotland's public sector. A range of work is already being undertaken by the Scottish Government to strengthen and join up public sector approaches to meeting the Equality Duties. However, evidence gathered from Scottish Government research [3] and the work of the Equality and Human Rights Commission [4] shows that there are opportunities to build on this work by linking up agendas, building capacity and sharing information.

To achieve this goal, we will:

  • Support the wider public sector to improve equality practice through the work of the Scottish National Equality Improvement Project ( SNEIP)
  • Work with public authorities to improve the gathering, monitoring and use of ethnic data in policy and practice
  • Collect and share examples of innovative race equality workplace practices, including best practice in the use of positive action
  • Explore opportunities to further consider the role that external scrutiny can and should play in supporting improvement on equality issues through discussions with audit and inspection bodies about future development of approaches to scrutiny

3. Scotland's public sector has improved capacity to tackle racial inequality and meet the needs of minority ethnic people

It is vital that we develop the full diversity of talent we have in Scotland, nurturing and growing leaders at all levels, both in our communities and in our organisations to drive forward the goals and visions within this Framework. To that end, the Scottish Government acknowledges that it has an important role to play to foster this commitment and will continue to engage with senior public body leaders to promote equality and diversity issues through senior management forums, equality and human resources networks and with Scottish Government sponsors.

As stated previously, the Scottish Specific Equality Duties provide a strong administrative and practical basis for embedding race equality in the work of Scotland's public sector. However, in order to meet the Duties effectively public bodies need to have well-informed staff who are confident in their ability to tackle issues around racism and inequality.

Workers in the public sector need to have a focus on identifying and meeting needs, which is important for service users of all ethnicities, and also need to be able to confidently and competently tackle racism where it occurs.

There are additional goals throughout the Framework which will contribute to this through specific goals around both capacity building and workforce representation for staff, including in the policing, education and health sectors at the relevant sections.

To achieve this goal, we will:

  • Ensure that public sector service delivery is respectful, person-centred and responsive to the challenges, barriers and discrimination experienced by minority ethnic service users by working with public sector partners to look at what can be done to:
    • Review current approaches to training and development on race equality including within higher education programmes designed for future public sector workers
    • Embed race equality effectively into induction and CPD for public sector staff
  • Work with the Scottish Councils Equality Network to explore potential ways in which Scottish Local Authorities could contribute towards meeting the goals and visions of the Race Equality Framework
  • Engage with senior public body leaders to promote race equality and diversity issues through their senior management forums, equality and HR networks and with the Scottish Government sponsors
  • Explore with partners across the Public Sector the potential opportunities to improve on translation and interpretation practice, so that service users can be supported more reliably and consistently

4. Policy processes in Scotland are based on a robust range of data on ethnicity

Evidence-based policy on equality is at the heart of the Scottish Government's approach. We are working to make this achievable for data users across the public sector through our online Equality Evidence Finder, [5] the Equality Evidence Toolkit [6] and by creating bespoke reports which reveal the main messages from national data sources. However, despite ongoing improvements in data gathering and use, there are still gaps to be addressed in the evidence base on race equality and more work to be done to consolidate and make it user friendly.

Figure 3: Scottish Government Equality Evidence Finder

Figure 3: Scottish Government Equality Evidence Finder

In some areas of policy, there is still very little up-to-date, robust statistical data or research that relates to ethnicity. There can also be problems with sample size, or disaggregation which only covers a narrow range of classifications (for example 'white' and 'non-white'). Whilst the latter is appropriate for understanding the impact of colour-based prejudice or bias, or exploring the differing experiences of white and non-white ethnic groups collectively (which is a vital aspect of racial inequality), it can disguise inequalities between different groups within these white and non-white categories. This is especially important when looking at areas like health inequality, where some types of health condition disproportionately affect people from specific ethnic groups.

To achieve this goal, we will:

  • Build on the current Evidence Finder approach to continue to bring together a comprehensive range of evidence on ethnicity which can be used in policy development and review throughout Scotland's public sector, working in partnership with experts across sectors to identify relevant content and improve presentation
  • Identify opportunities to improve the range and scope of the disaggregated ethnicity data available and make this available to policy makers across the Scottish Government and the wider public sector
  • Ensure that ethnicity statistics and social research findings are effectively used to inform action, including through building it into the implementation process for the Framework

5. Scotland's minority ethnic voluntary sector is stronger, more effective and sustainable

Scotland's minority ethnic voluntary sector encompasses a range of vibrant, diverse organisations, from local grassroots projects to advice and service providers, campaigning groups, strategic organisations and everything in between. The Scottish Government greatly values the contribution made locally and nationally by these organisations, and the individuals who work and volunteer within them. This was echoed by participants from both voluntary and public sectors who participated in our Strategic Action Forums.

In the current climate, with financial pressures affecting government, organisations and individuals, this vitally important sector faces many challenges. In response to this, the Scottish Government will continue to support minority ethnic organisations, and will aim to ensure that its investment in that work through funding streams such as the Promoting Equality and Cohesion Fund makes an effective contribution to race equality in Scotland.

We recognise that this could lead to significant change in the type of work which is funded, but any decisions around this will follow the key principles of this Framework, especially in regard that funded work be evidence-based, that it promotes positive action and intercultural approaches and that it encourages asset‑based approaches.

To achieve this goal, we will:

  • Review Scottish Government's approach to funding work on race equality to drive forward the actions within the Race Equality Framework and to meet Ministerial priorities for equality
  • Build on our understanding of the contribution that minority ethnic voluntary organisations make to communities and public services in Scotland to support our Race Equality Framework and to inform future funding processes


Email: race-equality-team@gov.scot

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