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Why was the practice needed?

Since 2004, the Norwegian Ministry for Children and Equality has financed the position of an Equality Coordinator within Statistics Norway. The creation of this position arose from the need to coordinate different government agencies’ equality work, and to have a contact point for queries on equality issues within Statistics Norway. In 2015, the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs took over the ministry’s role.

The role of the Equality Coordinator is to increase coordination between sectors in the equality field and to highlight the importance of equality in statistics collection and use. Initially, the Equality Coordinator only advised government agencies on gender equality issues, but the remit has since been extended to other grounds of discrimination included in the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act: people with disabilities, LGBTIQ people, and ethnic and religious minorities.

How was it implemented?

Statistics Norway has established the office of the Equality Coordinator within its Division of Social Welfare Statistics. The coordinator reports to, and is mainly financed by, the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs.

The office functions as a focal point between different state bodies, and therefore fosters inter-institutional cooperation. Nationally, the Equality Coordinator liaises mainly with the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family affairs, the Ministry for Children and Equality, and the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombudsman.

Internationally, the Equality Coordinator is involved in enhancing the situation related to equality data in developing countries in cooperation with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs convenes annual meetings to discuss data needs for the upcoming year. The outcome of these meetings is reflected in a contract specifying the outputs which are required from the coordinator each year.

The Equality Coordinator possesses expertise with respect to existing data sources and data collection, as well as a strong appreciation for the need for equality data. This enables the provision of advice on how data collection can best be operationalised to fill knowledge gaps.

The coordinator also provides advice on methodological issues to ensure, among others, the reliability and validity of equality data. It is also a point of contact for consultations on the addition of background variables (such as sexual orientation, etc.) into existing surveys and data collection operations.

The Directorate – the government body responsible for ensuring equality and non-discrimination in Norway – assigns tasks to the coordinator according to its needs, including conducting analyses on equality issues. The remit of the coordinator currently includes analyses of gender, national origin, disabilities, sexual orientation, age and part-time/temporary work.

Recent analyses include fathers’ use of parental leave, prevalence of work-related sexual harassment, violence against people with disabilities and the use of ‘cash for care’. Some analyses have looked at the intersections of disability and gender, as well as migrant background and gender. The coordinator also assists in reporting on the compliance with international human rights instruments.

Outputs

Key success factors

  • Annual meetings specifying the outputs needed allow recent developments to inform the work of the Coordinator, result in useful output for policymakers. For instance, analyses on sexual harassment in 2018 provided timely input for the policy response to the ‘#MeToo’ movement.
  • Regular and direct contact at senior government advisor level ensures efficient communication and decision-making.

Technical information

  • Data sources covered: Census; Administrative data; Household or individual surveys; Victimisation surveys; Attitudinal surveys.
  • Areas of life covered: Employment; Education; Health; Social Protection; Housing and living conditions; Access to good and services; Hate crime.
  • Target audience: Statistics Norway and other government bodies
  • Duration: 2004 - present
  • Geographical scope: National
  • Leading institution: Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs/Statistics Norway
  • Other organisations involved/consulted: The Ministry of Children and Equality
  • Financial & human resources: Budget: n/a; Source of the budget: State budget; Staff: 1 Full Time Equivalent (8 months per year)

Contacts

Statistics Norway (SSB) / Statistisk sentralbyrå

Email:postmottak (at) ssb (dot) no

Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Norway (Bufdir) / Barne-, ungdoms- og familiedirektoratet

Email:postmottak (at) bufdir (dot) no