Social Security Experience Panels: annual report 2022

Fifth annual report from the Social Security Experience Panels programme, covering the key activities and outputs from 2022.

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The Scottish Government is now responsible for some of the benefits previously delivered by the UK Government Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). As part of the work to prepare for this change, in summer 2017 the Scottish Government set up the Social Security Experience Panels.

The Experience Panels are made up of people who have experience of at least one of the benefits that are coming to Scotland. The Scottish Government works with panel members to inform key decisions in the design of Social Security in Scotland. This is the fifth annual report for the Experience Panels programme of research. It aims to feed back to panel members and others interested in the work about what was achieved in 2022 and what is planned for 2023.

2022 was our fifth full year of running research with panel members. Since the start of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020 we have used surveys, video interviews and phone interviews to hear from panel members. This was to keep both participants and our staff safe. This year, we had our first face-to-face sessions since the start of the pandemic. We would like to thank all panel members for their understanding and flexibility over the last few years. We are committed to learning from what worked well about our remote research, and continuing to offer this as a way to take part. At the same time, we know that face-to-face research is incredibly valuable, and a preferred way of taking part for some panel members. Hearing panel members' views and experiences continues to play a critical role in the design of the social security system in Scotland. We want to make that as easy as possible for people to contribute to.

In 2022, we published more reports and visual summaries about our work with Experience Panel members, and how the research is informing decision making about the Scottish Government benefits system. As in 2021, we worked with our partner user researchers to undertake increasingly detailed research with panel members with the aim of testing and refining how some of Social Security Scotland's systems and processes work in practice. This user testing is all about working with users from an early stage to test out how parts of the system should work, and where things need to be changed. Findings from this type of user research are fed directly into the design of these systems. This annual report will give you an overview of the work during 2022.



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