Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation Programme 6: A Culture of Delivery - Equality Impact Assessment (Record and Results)

Summary of results for the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) undertaken to consider the impacts on equality of Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation Programme 6: A Culture of Delivery.

Stage 1: Framing

Results of framing exercise

NSET is designed to tackle long term structural challenges, build on our economic strengths and position Scotland to maximise the greatest economic opportunities of the next ten years. Its Programmes were chosen and informed based on analysis of the available evidence. The NSET Evidence Paper set out evidence on the structure and performance of Scotland's economy, and identified areas for action to deliver transformational improvements in Scotland's economic performance. Evidence concerning economic inequalities and the experiences of people with different protected characteristics in relation to Scotland's economy was brought together in the NSET Equality Position Statement.

In recognition of the breadth of direct and indirect impacts that delivery of NSET will have across all parts of society in all areas of Scotland, extensive engagement has been undertaken with a broad range of stakeholders both during the development of the strategy and since its publication as the Delivery Plans for each of the six NSET Programmes have been developed.

We engaged with equality stakeholders across Scotland and undertook a range of research activities to strengthen our understanding of existing inequalities in the economy and how they could be addressed through NSET. This included a public consultation; strategic conversations with a broad range of stakeholders across the private, public and third sectors; and discussions and roundtables to invite views from equality, third sector and business stakeholders, at both official and Ministerial level. This engagement has helped inform our approach to the culture of delivery, as set out in NSET and the Programme 6 Delivery Plan, and which is reflected in this EQIA.

A summary of our engagement with equality stakeholders relevant to Programme 6 specifically is outlined below:

Ministerial and official-led roundtables and meetings with equality and human rights stakeholders

  • Ministerial engagements with the Women's Leadership Centre and the Poverty and Inequality Commission (June 2021);
  • Equality and Human Rights roundtable with officials (September 2021);
  • Equality and Human Rights roundtable with officials (November 2021);
  • Equality and Human Rights roundtable hosted by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy (January 2022);
  • Equality and Human Rights roundtable hosted by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy (May 2022); and
  • Meeting between DG Economy and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (August 2022).

Evidence and data gathering

  • Analysis of relevant responses to the NSET consultation, including a joint response from Engender and Close the Gap, and responses from Equate Scotland, CRER, the Scottish Women's Budget Group and the Equality and Human Rights Commission;
  • Evidence and data-gathering for the NSET Equality Position Statement, which was informed by a range of sources, including outputs from stakeholder engagement, public consultation and relevant evidence from government, third sector and academic evidence, and research papers and publications (see Annex for list of sources);
  • Data gathered through the Equality Evidence Finder[8];
  • NSET Evidence paper; and
  • Evidence and data-gathering for the Programme 6 EQIA (see Stage 2 below).

Since publication of NSET, official-level engagement with equality stakeholders has been undertaken to inform the development of the Centre of Expertise for Equality and Human Rights (Action 64), including:

  • Meeting with Inclusion Scotland and Poverty and Inequality Commission (May 2022)
  • Meeting with WISE Centre for Economic Justice (May 2022)
  • Meeting with Scottish Women's Budget Group (May 2022)
  • Meeting with Close the Gap (May 2022)
  • Meeting with Glasgow Disability Alliance (May 2022)
  • Meeting with Equality and Human Rights Commission (May 2022)
  • Meeting with Scottish Human Rights Commission (May 2022)
  • Meeting with Close the Gap (September 2022)

Some of the Projects and Actions under Programme 6 are at early stages of development and implementation. As specific actions or interventions are being developed, further stakeholder engagement will be undertaken where appropriate and potential equality impacts will be considered where relevant. It should also be noted that for Action 71 under Project 17, guidance provides direction to the agencies on existing Scottish Government policies and strategies, which will have been subject to separate EQIAs where appropriate.

Notwithstanding the above, this evidence and engagement has helped shape decisions made to date, in particular regarding Project 16 and Action 64 under Project 17.

Project 16

Following feedback from stakeholders gathered during the development of NSET and the Delivery Plan for Programme 6, when setting up the NSET Delivery Board action was taken to ensure that the Board is diverse in its approach to membership and is representative of the people of Scotland. In addition to all six NSET Programmes having representation on the Board, it is also gender-balanced, contains representation from minority ethnic communities and gives a voice for those in rural communities. Its membership also includes third sector expertise, championing and driving forward the fairer and more equal society agenda across the delivery of NSET to ensure that no one is left behind. The Board's wider vision links with the National Outcomes, as highlighted above, including equality. In addition, specific engagement will take place with equality stakeholders where relevant.

Action 64, Project 17

Based on feedback from stakeholders, the following decisions have been made to shape the work of the Centre of Expertise:

  • The policy network will be enhanced by identifying an equality and human rights contact for each NSET Programme, and this individual will receive more in-depth training and support in equality and human rights.
  • A training programme for economic policy officials is a central part of the Centre's model, and will be developed to include:
  • o Taking an intersectional gendered approach to policy-making;
  • o Use of equality data and evidence in policy development;
  • o Options on involving external experts and stakeholder groups in providing insight, expertise and challenge to further enhance the understanding of economic policy officials.
  • Thematic sessions with external experts will be planned in order to allow time for stakeholders to prepare and engage, and to enable input from people with lived experience.
  • Overarching themes will be factored in to the thematic sessions, for example care, barriers faced by women, and child poverty.
  • To help identify and address data gaps, and to help build knowledge and expertise, we will explore options around an academic partnership to bring insight and expertise in gender economics to policy making.
  • A baseline survey of economy officials to gauge their self-assessment of knowledge, skills and confidence in considering equality and human rights included specific questions relating to intersectionality, as well as the availability of and access to data necessary to support officials' policy-making work, including intersectional data and evidence from people with lived experience.

Summary Reflection

To produce this EQIA we examined published evidence available for each of the protected characteristics as listed in the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, and religion or belief. Data and qualitative information were also gathered from evidence arising from stakeholder engagement and the NSET public consultation. Details of the sources of evidence used have been provided in Stage 2 of this EQIA.

NSET has a vision of a wellbeing economy and has been designed, based on evidence, to deliver economic prosperity for all Scotland's people and places. The strategy sets out an aim that, by 2032, Scotland's economy will significantly outperform the last decade, both in terms of economic performance and tackling structural economic inequalities, with people at the heart of an economy that offers opportunities for all to succeed and where everybody, in every community and region of the country, will share in our economic prosperity. As such, the strategy has the potential to impact the lives of people with protected characteristics, both directly and indirectly, as well as people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage. The realisation of these positive impacts depends on effective delivery of the strategy, as described in the delivery model set out in Programme 6, which has been shaped by our evidence gathering and stakeholder engagement to date.

While evidence has been gathered on groups with protected characteristics, it is vital to consider our approach through an intersectional lens. Some people may face complex and interconnected issues related to disadvantage at any one time, and will often have a combination of multiple protected characteristics, different socio-economic backgrounds and household incomes, and experience inequalities in relation to health, education and other aspects of their lives. Addressing inequalities must also recognise regional and rural dimensions, including the high incidences of child poverty in certain regions. It is therefore key to remember both the intersectionality of protected characteristics and the wide range of circumstances that influence the opportunities and barriers people face, including their lived experience of poverty, inequality and/or discrimination. Given gaps in the available evidence in relation to intersectionality, combined with the impacts of the current cost crisis on people with protected characteristics and low income households, further work will be required to build our understanding of the potential positive and negative impacts of delivery of NSET over the ten years of the strategy.

A number of Projects and Actions under Programme 6 have already been taken forward and are currently being developed and implemented. This includes Actions under Project 16 and 18, and also Action 64 under Project 17. However, some of the actions under Programme 6 are at early stages of development and, as implementation is taken forward and specific actions are identified, this EQIA will continue to be updated in light of further evidence and engagement with stakeholders. The EQIA sets out preliminary and indicative impacts of known actions in Programme 6 and, alongside further stakeholder engagement, will help inform decisions that are taken in the further development and implementation of actions.

A summary of Actions in Programme 6 that are expected to have a positive impact on people with protected characteristics is set out below:

  • Diverse membership of the NSET Delivery Board;
  • Annual reporting to the Board will include equalities monitoring;
  • A Wellbeing Economy Monitor that includes indicators beyond GDP, such as measures on child poverty, levels of greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity, and Fair Work indicators; and
  • The Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights will seek to work with external experts and stakeholder groups to build knowledge, skills and confidence in economic policy officials and help embed equality and human rights in economic policy-making.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

Evidence relating to the experiences of people with different protected characteristics in relation to the economy is set out below at Stage 2. This illustrates the potential impact that NSET can have if its Programmes, Projects and Actions are delivered effectively. Programme 6 underpins the implementation of all of the strategy's Programmes, however it is specifically concerned with the delivery model and the monitoring of the impacts of NSET. Therefore, this EQIA relates only to the specific actions contained within Programme 6.

The information and evidence contained within this EQIA has informed the content of the Programme 6 Delivery Plan as well as the content of the overarching EQIA on NSET as a whole. Additional EQIAs will be carried out on specific Projects and Actions as they are developed and implemented to ensure that full consideration is given to the three parts of the PSED, and that opportunities to advance equality through NSET Actions are maximised.

The evidence captured in the next section entitled 'Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation' has been drawn from a broad range of sources. As well as the above-noted engagement with equality and human rights stakeholders, evidence has been gathered and analysed from a range of published national and UK research papers, reports, studies and surveys relating to income and earnings, poverty and child poverty, labour market and employment, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics and data have been gathered from Scotland's Annual Population Survey 2020/21, NSET's Evidence Paper (2022) and Scottish Government Labour Market briefings. Research papers and publications such as If Not Now, When? by the Social Renewal Advisory Board (2021), UK Poverty 2020/21 by Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan progress reports have also been used to provide evidence.

To deliver NSET's transformational Programmes in a way that maximises opportunities to advance equality and human rights, we are undertaking work on improving our equality evidence base. Economy analysts are contributing to the Scottish Government Equality Data Improvement Programme (EDIP)[9], to improve the quality of equality data that is available to use in policy development, implementation and monitoring.

To address some of the known gaps in equality evidence, we launched the first phase of EDIP in April 2021. A written stakeholder consultation[10] was held from July until October 2022 on a draft plan to improve and strengthen Scotland's equality evidence base. This consultation was supplemented by stakeholder engagement workshops held throughout September 2022. The responses received from stakeholders will help shape the improvement plan, which will form the basis of Scotland's new Equality Evidence Strategy. It is anticipated that the strategy will be launched by the end of February 2023 and will run to 2025. It will help identify gaps in equality evidence and improve our evidence base.



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