Leaving no-one behind: How can we be more inclusive in our data – Executive Summary

Published:
28 September 2021
Last updated:
14 October 2021

Introduction

Who we are

In October 2020, the National Statistician invited us, a diverse group of senior academics and civil society leaders with wide ranging expertise across equalities topics, methodologies, geographies, and data ethics, to form an independent taskforce, chaired by Dame Moira Gibb. Our purpose was to develop recommendations on how best to make a step-change in the inclusivity of UK data and evidence.

We were asked to look at four important questions:

  1. How can we improve inclusiveness in the collection, analysis and reporting of data and evidence in the UK?
  2. How can we make most effective use of existing data, such as administrative, census and survey data to understand equalities and inclusion?
  3. What are the critical data gaps that hinder our understanding of equalities and inclusion and how can we address them?
  4. How can we build on our own and others’ experiences in improving our approach to equalities and inclusion going forward?

We are very grateful to all those who shared their views and experiences with us and have tried to do justice in our recommendations to the wealth of information that they gave us. For those interested in having a more detailed look at the main findings, recommendations and findings from each of the consultation activities have been published separately and are available to view online.

This summary report is also available in Welsh, Polish, Romanian, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic and Farsi.

Easy Read versions of this report are also available in Welsh, Polish, Romanian, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic and Farsi.

If you require another format, please email us at equalities@ons.gov.uk or call 0800 298 5313.

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What we did

We began by commissioning a range of activities to listen to and learn from people across the UK, including those who may be asked to participate in research and share their data with researchers, and those who collect or use data and evidence. This involved:

  • a 12-week online open consultation on CitizenSpace
  • seven roundtable discussions and six in-depth interviews with senior central and local government representatives, and those in the devolved nations
  • four roundtable discussions and two in-depth interviews with senior academics and representatives of learned societies
  • discussions with over 80 civil society leaders working in 15 different equalities areas
  • discussions with over 90 members of the public with lived experience of equalities issues

Participants in the discussions and in-depth interviews were drawn from a range of  backgrounds and were selected based on the equalities work that currently takes place.

Consultation events were held online, as they took place during the pandemic, when face-to-face meetings were restricted. To ensure we heard from people who may be less able to access the internet, we also did a paper-based consultation by post with those at risk of digital exclusion.

Additionally, we considered papers and presentations on a wide range of topics relating to inclusive data and evidence. Other groups and organisations also invited us to events that they organised and provided us with written submissions to contribute their perspectives to the consultation.

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