Scotland’s Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-2025

This strategy sets out our approach to improving and strengthening Scotland’s equality evidence base over a three year period to the end of 2025.

2. Vision

Below is our vision for equality evidence improvement for the lifespan of this strategy, from 2023 to the end of 2025. The vision was developed based on the range of stakeholder views and feedback gathered through our consultation and events.

To tackle structural and intersectional inequality of outcomes, Scotland's equality evidence base will become more accessible, wide-ranging and robust. A stronger evidence base will enable the development and delivery of sound, inclusive policies and services and enable the measurement of improvements in the lives of all of Scotland's people.

Vision principles

Our vision is made up of three core principles, which describe how the Scottish Government and its partners will achieve this vision together. Within the Scottish Government, these principles will be realised through the implementation of a range of improvement actions (see Actions to Improve the Equality Evidence Base) and the success of delivering on the vision will be assessed against these principles.

Principle 1: More robust and comprehensive data and evidence will be gathered on the intersecting[1] characteristics of people in Scotland across a range of outcomes.

The Scottish Government and its partners already publish a range of equality evidence, but significant gaps remain. Throughout the period of this strategy, organisations will be supported to gather and publish new robust intersectional equality evidence in accordance with best practice. Actions will also be undertaken to strengthen the equality evidence base through the publication of more robust and comprehensive equality data from existing datasets. Additional research and data gathering will be carried out where evidence broken down by equality variables cannot be produced from existing datasets. The evidence collected will be proportional and fit for purpose, with priorities guided by user need.

Principle 2: Equality evidence will be made more easily accessible so users will be able to access what they need, when they need it.

There already exists a wide range of robust equality evidence. It is important to make best use of existing equality evidence in order to ensure that the needs and lived experiences of groups are taken into account in a fast-paced, resource constrained landscape. This ensures that efforts are not duplicated and groups are not overburdened.

Furthermore, there are a range of 'users' of equality evidence with differing needs, and purposes of accessing evidence and, as such, differing preferences in how evidence should be made available. This includes (but is not limited to): analysts; policymakers; project managers; academics and data experts; those involved in service design and delivery; campaigners; and those with lived experience of inequality.

Over the course of this strategy, a range of activities will be undertaken to improve access to equality evidence in a range of formats to meet known user needs. Improvement will be informed by known barriers to equality evidence access, including those communicated to the Scottish Government through recent consultation and engagement events. Throughout the lifespan of this strategy, work will be undertaken to further consult with users as improvements are implemented to monitor impacts on equality evidence access. The Equality Evidence Finder platform will be developed and further promoted to ensure that users, and potential users, have awareness of the site as a first port of call for identifying available equality evidence in Scotland.

Principle 3: Good practice will be shared and promoted to support increased confidence and competence in the production and use of robust equality evidence.

A key aim of the first phase of the EDIP was to share learning and good practice in the collection, analysis and presentation of equality evidence. The delivery of workshops and seminars and the sharing of good practice examples will continue through the lifespan of this strategy to build confidence and competence among data analysts and users. Recently updated guidance on equality data question wording and response options will be promoted to ensure it is used consistently by collectors of equality evidence.

Ensuring that equality evidence is used to inform the design and delivery of policies and services at the point of critical decision making is key to developing effective solutions to tackle structural inequality. Work will be undertaken to improve the understanding of the role of evidence on the nine protected characteristics in fulfilling organisations' obligations under the Equality Act 2010 (see the Legal obligations section of this strategy for details), alongside the sharing of examples of how equality evidence has been used effectively to improve service outcomes.



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