The subgroup started its work by identifying a number of common gaps and challenges in EU Member States and Norway, including the lack of a coordinated approach for equality data collection and use; insufficient resources and awareness of the importance of collecting equality data; incomplete identification of population groups at risk of discrimination due to overreliance on proxies; and insufficient consultation with relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of equality data collection.
The subgroup has developed the following three products to support Member States:
- Guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data
- Compendium of Practices on Equality Data
- Diagnostic mapping tool.
The Guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data feature a number of concrete institutional and operational steps that EU Member States can undertake to enhance the availability and quality of equality data and to promote its effective use in developing evidence-based equality and non-discrimination policies.
The guidelines are divided into:
- institutional and structural guidelines on how to set up structures that enable a systematic, long-term and cooperative approach to collection and use of equality data; and
- operational guidelines on how to ensure comprehensiveness, timeliness, validity, reliability and representativeness of equality data and to improve their comparability.
Institutional and structural guidelines
- Map existing sources of equality data and identify data gaps
- Foster inter-institutional cooperation in the collection and use of equality data
- Set up a data hub on equality and non-discrimination
- Build institutional capacity to collect robust and reliable equality data
- Facilitate effective use of equality data
- Ensure comprehensiveness of equality data
- Mainstream equality data into EU and national surveys
- Ensure regular and timely equality data collection
- Enhance validity and reliability of equality data
- Ensure representativeness of equality data
- Improve comparability of equality data
As a complement to these guidelines, the subgroup prepared a diagnostic mapping tool that EU Member States can use to assess the availability of equality data collected at national level and a compendium of practices that can provide inspiration when implementing the guidelines.
The Compendium of Practices on Equality Data aims to provide inspiration to EU Member States when implementing the guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data. It collates practices of Member States on equality data, providing information on the background and rationale underlying the practice, the way it was implemented, the main output, technical information, as well as a contact address for further information.
The diagnostic mapping tool can be used by Member States to map existing sources of equality data and identify gaps in data related to specific grounds of discrimination and/or areas of life, as recommended by Guideline no. 1. The information gathered through the mapping tool can also be used as a basis for setting up a data hub on equality and non-discrimination, as recommended by Guideline no. 3.