Better data, better equality

Across the EU, many Member States are improving their equality data to help policymakers combat discrimination and challenge prejudices. To inspire others, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has just published an online compendium of nearly 40 practices from 15 countries on the collection and use of equality data.

The practices range from mapping existing data sources to addressing gaps in equality data. They also cover setting up data hubs and facilitating the use of equality data to collect data on specific groups such as people with disabilities, ethnic minorities or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. This includes their experiences of discrimination in employment, education, housing and other key areas of life.

Each practice provides background information explaining why it was created and how it was implemented. It also describes the main output, technical information, the resources needed as well as a contact address for further information.

The compendium illustrates how the 11 guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data can be put into practice.

The guidelines describe a number of concrete institutional and operational steps that EU Member States can take to enhance the collection and use of equality data. They suggest how to improve the availability and quality of the data and how to promote their effective use in developing evidence-based equality and non-discrimination policies and monitoring their effective implementation.

The Subgroup on Equality Data developed the guidelines and the compendium of practices after having identified a number of common gaps and challenges in equality data across the EU. These include the lack of a coordinated approach for collecting and using such data; insufficient resources and awareness of the importance of the data; poor identification of who is at risk of discrimination; and insufficient consultation with relevant stakeholders and affected communities when designing and implementing data collection.

The subgroup was set up in February 2018 by the EU High Level Group on Non-Discrimination, Diversity and Equality and is facilitated by FRA. It brings together representatives of EU Member States and Norway, the European Commission, Eurostat and FRA to support Member States in their efforts to improve the collection and use of equality data.