Equality Statistics in Practice at a Local Level

This study was commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and carried out by CIRCLE working in collaboration with the Policy Evaluation Group (PEG).

It reported on case studies of eleven locally based public sector organisations, and investigated what equality statistics they collect and use, and the specific uses they make of statistical data in their policies and practices relating to equality, diversity and human rights.

The study was developed to support the work of the EHRC, established on 1 October 2007 to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people and promote and protect human rights.

The study involved telephone interviews with representatives of public sector organisations and a review of their documentation relating to equality and diversity activities.

The project was completed in Spring 2009 and the report was published by the EHRC in August 2009.

Key findings

The public sector organisations studied had:

  • Made good progress towards addressing equality, diversity and human rights, with much activity already underway in relation to gender, age and race. Religion or belief and sexual orientation was less well implemented into existing policy, largely on account of sensitivities relating these strands and a lack of appropriate statistical data sources.
  • Attributed responsibility for equality and diversity issues to particular staff, or teams of staff.
  • Undertaken equalities impact assessments (EQIAs) of policy developments, services and projects (often with considerable reliance on statistical evidence).
  • Undertaken statistical monitoring of the profile of their own workforce, often to ensure it was reasonably representative of the local resident population, in terms of race and disability.
  • Sought to ensure that their suppliers and providers of goods and services had appropriate equalities policies in place.
  • Checked that services were being used by, and were delivering appropriate levels of support to, their customers, clients and users from different groups.
  • Drawn on statistical evidence at local, regional and national level to enhance their understanding of equality and diversity issues.

Project Publications

Equality Statistics in Practice at a Local Level [PDF: 398KB]