Supporting evidence

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) engaged with a variety of audiences on behalf of  The Inclusive Data Taskforce (IDTF) to understand how data and evidence can be more inclusive, and the specific requirements for this. This included data collection practices, how data are used, how evidence is presented, and where there are gaps in data or evidence that could be filled to improve inclusivity. The Taskforce considered all the evidence gathered in making their final recommendations.

The Centre for Equalities and Inclusion within ONS led, designed and implemented several packages of research for the Taskforce. This aimed to engage members of the general public, equality groups, academics, civil society organisations (CSOs), think tanks, the devolved administrations and central government departments on the topic of inclusivity in data.

In early January 2021, the ONS launched an open online consultation  seeking views about the inclusivity of UK data and evidence, including areas for improvement as well as examples of good practice. The online consultation was widely promoted among internal and external stakeholders, as well as members of the public. This consultation closed on the 26th of March 2021.

ONS also held roundtable discussions and in-depth interviews with representatives of devolved administrations, local authorities, central government, academics and learned societies. These groups and interviews ran from January 2021 through to April 2021.

The taskforce also commissioned Basis Social to conduct focus groups and  in-depth interviews with civil society organisations (CSOs) and members of the public with lived experiences of a range of equality issues. This research took place between February 2021 and April 2021.

A paper-based consultation was also conducted as another opportunity to gather the views of the public, particularly those groups at greatest risk of digital exclusion. Capturing the views of these groups was important to the inclusivity of the consultation itself, particularly in light of the widespread use of online data collection methods since the onset of the pandemic. This research took place in April 2021.

An official mailbox was also set up specifically for interested parties to correspond with the Taskforce. All e-mails and attachments were logged, which included responses to the Online Inclusive Data Consultation, and reports and ongoing initiatives relating to the topic of inclusiveness of data and evidence. These were forwarded to members of the Taskforce and considered when drafting their recommendations report. E-mail responses to the Online Inclusive Data Consultation received by the closing date (26 March 2021) were included in analysis and reporting alongside responses submitted online via Citizen Space.

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