Inclusive Data Principle 2

Take a whole system approach, working in partnership with others to improve the inclusiveness of UK data and evidence.

Our approach

We will join up across UK government, the devolved administrations, academia, civil society and those with lived experience to develop guidance and good practice on adopting inclusivity throughout the research process and promote coherence to improve data comparability and improve data quality.

The ONS Centre for Equalities and Inclusion will keep abreast of and join up activities across the UK statistical system in relation to development of guidance and promising practices on adopting inclusivity throughout the research process.

New governance is being designed and will be set up in Spring 2022 to oversee, monitor and deliver the IDTF Implementation Plan. This includes a new independent National Statistician’s advisory committee on inclusive data, with an independent chair and membership from across a diverse range of organisations, and transparent reporting of the committee’s activities. As part of this governance, we will consider how we achieve a wide reach across UK society to consult with and take feedback from, and will develop an Evaluation Plan to measure impact.

Back to top

Current and planned work

  • A new independent National Statistician’s advisory committee on inclusive data will be launched in early 2022, to advise on priorities, ongoing improvements and evaluate progress, as UK society evolves.
  • In collaboration with key stakeholders and data producers across the statistical system, in Spring 2022 ONS will set up a governance mechanism for delivering and publicly reporting on the IDTF Implementation Plan. This will include how to reach widely across the public and different population groups.
  • ONS will develop an Evaluation Plan to measure the impact of the activities in the IDTF Implementation Plan, by summer 2022.
  • ONS will facilitate an annual review and published update of the IDTF Implementation Plan.

  • The Cabinet Office’s Equality Hub Data Quality Group has been formed. This group will influence and advise on data quality improvements in a coordinated way across sex, gender, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic population groups, for example on harmonisation. The group will lead on taking forward Cabinet Office actions listed in this Plan and provide relevant guidance to other departments in taking forward their actions. The group also works closely with other similar networks, such as the GSS Harmonisation Champions and GSS Data Quality Champions.
  • Department for Education will develop a new statistics user engagement strategy in 2022, for implementation during 2023 and evaluation in 2024. This will reflect best practice recently set out by the GSS User Engagement Strategy for Statistics developed by ONS, strengthen collaboration across user boundaries, embed user engagement culture across the organisation and create a greater understanding of user needs by building meaningful and sustained dialogue between users and producers of statistics.
  • Home Office has set up an internal network of key contacts and teams in response to the findings and recommendations of the Taskforce, which will be responsible for reporting progress against these recommendations.
  • ONS’s Centre for Crime and Justice will update its engagement strategy and develop a Crime and Justice Statistics Forum. The first annual forum will take place in February 2022 with the updated strategy to be published by the end of March 2022.
  • ONS’s Covid Infection Survey Analysis will adapt their existing user groups to create a continuing user forum focusing on including users and ensuring inclusivity and engagement are met continually.

  • As part of the GSS User Engagement Strategy for Statistics and the creation of the ONS Engagement Hub, ONS will encourage data producers across the UK statistical system to build upon their engagement with users and stakeholders.
  • ONS will continue to engage with academics, user groups and others outside government with relevant expertise, and develop new stakeholder engagement groups, to share knowledge and approaches to measurement, and to receive input on research and plans. This includes in relation to the work of ONS’s Centre for Crime and Justice, Time Use Survey, and Household Finance Surveys, in the development and delivery of the 2021 Census for England and Wales analysis and as part of developing the National Statistician’s recommendation on the future of the census and population statistics.
  • Building on previous work with refugee advocacy groups in collaboration with the Home Office, ONS will undertake further work to ensure the inclusion of other groups at risk of exclusion or invisibility in our transformed population and social statistics system, including engaging Research Councils in the design and implementation of the new systems. During 2022 work will be undertaken in collaboration with those outside government to design methods, with prototyping the approach in 2023 followed by a systematic review of population groups to optimise the methods in 2024.
  • The Office for Students will actively engage with academics and practitioners to support the development of enhanced data collection for care-experienced students studying at higher education providers. Enhanced collection will begin for academic year 2022-23, with statistical reporting of experiences and outcomes in 2024.
  • Kings College London have produced a toolkit for use in Citizen Science projects to enable data producers to facilitate more engaging and inclusive data collection activities.
  • As part of its Contemporary Fathers in the UK project funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Fatherhood Institute will work with national research and statistical organisations to improve the visibility and differentiation of fathers in national large-scale statistical datasets. The project will be completed in mid-2023.

  • Data producers will explore new, and development of existing, joint funding partnerships.
  • The ONS Centre for Equalities and Inclusion will play a convening role in identifying initiatives where there would be efficiency in collaboration.

  • ONS will:
    • Explore the creation of a new United Nations City Group on inclusivity in 2022.
    • Continue to participate in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Census Taskforce on Sex and Gender, contributing to international work to explore and propose questions about sex and gender for use in the UNECE’s recommendations on future censuses.
    • Update the Inclusive Data Charter Action Plan for the Global Sustainable Development Goals and continue to engage internationally, sharing learning from international best practice on inclusive data across relevant organisations. In 2022, the renewed action plan will be launched followed by engagement with the Inclusive Data Charter network to share learning and expertise during 2023.
    • Continue to play an active role in the UNECE’s Taskforce on Statistics on Children and Youth, with a specific focus on children in out of home care, disabled children, and violence against children. The Taskforce will develop recommendations and provide guidance to National Statistics Offices in 2022 to better reflect these groups in the data and evidence.
    • Continue to contribute as a member of the UN’s Intersecretariat Working Group on Household Surveys. The working group is producing a positioning paper which aims to identify priority areas for household surveys to better perform their foundational roles in the years ahead.
    • Continue to play an active role in World Health Organisation-led meetings on disability and liaise closely with international colleagues to provide important international comparisons in health.
    • Continue to engage internationally with the development of statistics in relation to human capital and unpaid work, including chairing the Unpaid Household Service Work and the Labour, Human Capital, and Education sub-groups of the Intersecretariat Working Group for National Accounts and the Modernisation of Time-use statistics sub-group of the United Nations Expert Group on Effective Ways to Collect Time-Use Statistics.
    • Continue to lead the UN City Group on Ageing and Age Disaggregated Statistics, working with National Statistics Institutes, the World Health Organisation, United Nations Statistics Division and other organisations to provide harmonisation and best practice in providing information on the older population.
  • The Department for Education will work across UK government departments, the Devolved Administrations, crown dependencies and overseas territories to respond to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), providing evidence on the experience of children in the areas of interest identified by the UN, including breakdowns over time and by characteristics where possible. The next report will be submitted to the UN in 2022, with a further report required every 4 to 5 years.

  • ONS is developing a Research Strategy to enhance the impact of our research and innovation and deepen collaboration with academia and wider research organisations.
  • ONS will share learning in relation to methods development to enhance social inclusion though publication of ONS Methods Research Articles and other relevant methodological and research publications. Research outputs will be made as findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable (the FAIR principles) as possible through, for example, direct indexing by search engines and the use of digital object identifiers.
  • ONS will start to formally evaluate its innovation outputs, looking at indicative (if imperfect) metrics such as citations and journal publications.
  • ONS is committed to working to develop a research program that will focus on methodological development and innovation, and which will be commissioned from the wider research and academic communities in order to improve the quality of survey data.
  • On an ongoing basis, the Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit will publish a series of Methods and Quality Reports and blog posts to help users better understand different aspects of data collection and analysis, and data quality issues associated with ethnicity data collection and reporting.
  • Using lessons learnt about ethnicity data quality in relation to health data, the Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit will make recommendations to improve data quality in different data collections. A prototype report for a specific data area will be developed through 2022 and will be expanded to other topic areas in 2023, depending on the response to the prototype.

During 2022, the Scottish Government will run workshops to discuss best practice in analysing protected characteristics for public sector analysts, to showcase good practice and share learning.

Back to top
Download PDF version (1.09 MB)