4. Measuring our progress
As with any delivery plan, it's important that progress can be measured at regular intervals. That way, we can identify what's working and if anything needs to change so that we make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people living in Scotland. The Scottish Government is also required to report through the UK as a state party, to the UN Committee on how we are implementing the articles of the UNCRPD and how we are involving disabled people in this process.
Responsibility for measuring progress of the Scottish Government commitments will be with the lead Scottish Government policy officials, who will be held to account through the reporting structures of the UNCRPD and Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) requirements. The Leadership Panel overseeing Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) also have an interest in the progress of implementing the UNCRPD. Ultimately, we will be held to account by disabled people in Scotland and their organisations and we will fully involve Disabled People's Organisations in work to review our progress during the lifetime of the delivery plan.
In addition, the Scottish Government will work with Disabled People's Organisations and the UK Independent Mechanism (UKIM) to continue to gather and share information about priority needs with the relevant policy areas to make the progress we all want to see and - in the spirit of continuous improvement - to strive to do more to address these needs. We will of course respond separately to any specific comments about the Scottish Government's work to implement the UNCRPD raised by the UN Committee as part of the examination of the UK.
Throughout the lifetime of the plan, and into the future, we will continue to engage with disabled people and their organisations to strengthen our policies so that they better meet disabled people's needs. While relevant policy leads will be responsible for ensuring delivery of their own commitments, the Equality Unit (as the named focal point for co-ordinating implementation of the UNCRPD in Scotland) will review overall progress, highlight best practice and identify gaps. We anticipate that during the lifetime of the delivery plan, further commitments will be proposed and it is likely that some may evolve as new opportunities and funding becomes available.
The data that our partners also collect is invaluable and we are committed to working with others to build a stronger evidence base to support the delivery of the outcomes we want to achieve.
Measuring how UNCRPD is implemented
The Scottish Government has a responsibility to collect, measure and share information in line with the following UNCRPD articles:
- Article 31 - Statistics and data collection
- Article 32 - International cooperation
- Article 33 - National implementation and monitoring
- Article 34 - Committee of Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Article 35 - Reports by state parties
- Article 36 - Consideration of reports
- Article 37 - Cooperation between state parties and the Committee
- Article 38 - Relationship of the Committee with other bodies
- Article 39 - Report of the Committee
- Article 40 - Conference of state parties
Where we are now
Some of the structures and sources of information that the Scottish Government have in place to help us measure the success of our commitments and progress in realising the aims of the UNCRPD are as follows:
- Evidence-based Reporting - reporting progress on outcomes and our commitments relies on data and evidence. Significant progress has been made to improve the equality evidence base in Scotland. The 2011 census is the richest source of data and has provided new information on the life circumstances for a number of equality groups including disabled people and how they do in the labour market, education, health, housing and transport.
- Equality Analysts Network - is made up of social researchers, statisticians and economists from across the Scottish Government's Analytical Services Divisions who contribute to the Equality Evidence Finder and to the delivery of the Equality Budget Statement.
The Equality Unit will be responsible for co-ordinating the Scottish Government's response to the UNCRPD and reporting this to the UN Committee via the UK Government. We will reflect how our commitments have been measured and the impact these have had on improving the lives of disabled people.
Other examples of studies that we can use to inform our progress from other parts of the Scottish Government are:
- Rates of participation in physical activity - we will publish an equalities evidence review and annually monitor how disabled people are participating in sports.
- Integration of health and social care - in the Routes to Inclusion Project, we will gain evidence of what is actually happening in three locations including how well effective local service planning is, if community voices are being heard, and how valuable the lived experience is of the individual to the development of strategy. We will use this evidence to make recommendations on how to measure progress.
- Health Inequalities of people with learning disabilities - we will work with NHS Boards Public Health Leads and others to support the use of data for people with learning disabilities in NHS action plans to improve health services and to reduce early mortality.
- Widening access and increasing opportunities for disabled people to engage in culture and heritage - the Scottish Household Survey is an annual publication on cultural engagement which includes a section on the numbers of disabled people engaging in culture and heritage. We will work with Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland to outline how they have been supporting this commitment.
Email: Catherine Hewit