Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry: Analysis of the public and stakeholders views on the approach to establishing the public inquiry

This report sets out findings from public engagement that took place between 24 August and the end of September 2021. This engagement focused on draft aims and principles for a Scottish COVID-19 public inquiry. Feedback, as synthesised in this report, helped shape terms of reference of the inquiry.

4. Annex B: Data analysis methodology

The analysis was conducted by Scottish Government analysts in line with the Government Social Research Code and its core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. The engagement analysis was designed to provide an overview of the range of themes and issues, and not a measure of relative strength or volume of feeling associated with any feedback. The report of engagement activity does not provide recommendations for the drafting of the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry, but forms part of the basis on which the Terms of Reference was drafted. The breakdown of the analysis is discussed in the following 4 stages.

1. 415 emails in the public Inquiry inbox were read and condensed into short summary statements that captured the key points of the individual or organisation in contact. Utilising thematic analysis the data (the content of the emails, stakeholder comments and comments from the Dialogue Challenge) was synthesized into 10 subject headings:

  • human rights based approaches
  • health and social care
  • key policy decisions
  • four harms
  • preparedness
  • communication
  • legal frameworks
  • appointing panel members and assessors
  • Inquiry reporting and timing
  • recommendations

The subjects were then organised into Inquiry operational issues and views on what the Inquiry Terms of Reference could cover.

2. Notes were taken throughout stakeholder meetings and then written up prior to them taking place, alongside any comments contributed into the Microsoft Teams chat box.

3. Dialogue on the platform from respondents was summarised, documented and categorised. Key themes were extracted from the data and were utilised in the formation of the final report.

4. A report was finalised on external engagement across the three separate forms of engagement; emails, stakeholder meetings and the ‘dialogue challenge’. The report consists of quantitative and qualitative information and attempted to cover a breadth of opinions across the three engagement strategies rather than a condensed overview of the key points raised.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations were taken into account throughout the research. A moderation policy was designed to regulate and monitor comments submitted on the ‘dialogue platform’, any that were not compliant with the nine guidelines were reviewed and were subject to removal. Guidelines were published prior to the information being sent out and any comments that were rejected were agreed to be documented under an allocated subheading and would be acknowledged in the analysis of the report

A privacy notice was included in the initial publication factsheet sent out on the 24 August 2021, stating how the SG will process contact information and that there is no requirement to submit special category data. These statements were included under the legal basis of Article 6(1)(e) of the UK GDPR whereby ‘processing is necessary for a task carried out in the public interest’.



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