Where does equality sit within City and Regional Growth
In a partnership, public bodies covered by the Public Sector or Fairer Scotland duties carry their duties into that partnership. Where a decision is taken in that partnership, authorities must be able to demonstrate that they have met the duties in relation to their own contributions to the partnership.
This means that it is the CRD partners rather than the CRD itself that are covered by the duty and must be able to demonstrate that they have paid due regard to each of the three needs of the General Equality Duty and the Fairer Scotland Duty.
Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) and Fairer Scotland Duty (FSD) Impact Assessments
As a partner in a CRD a public body will need to be able to demonstrate that new or revised policies have been assessed for their impact on equality. Similarly public bodies will also need to show how they have considered the Fairer Scotland duty. The assessment could be conducted by the body itself as the partner in this area of activity, or by co-working on a partner’s assessment as long as it addresses the body’s own plans. We believe that it makes sense to conduct both EIA and FSD assessments together if possible. Decisions which impact on people with protected characteristics are equally likely to impact on people experiencing socio economic disadvantage, and vice versa.
Conducting both assessments together allows you to critically analyse the data you hold on both deprivation and protected characteristics in order to develop a more nuanced and reflective assessment.
As with the PSED, we encourage public bodies to view FSD considerations as being as much about improving people’s lives (advancing equality of opportunity for all) as it is about preventing harm (not discriminating). See here for further guidance
A good EQIA and/or FSD Impact Assessment should be proportionate, comprehensive, evidence led, rigorous, relevant, and open about issues and aim to identify mitigations.
Some key advice would be to:
Identify evidence gaps ahead of the analysis
Find ways to fill these evidence gaps using consultation
Commission research or data
Use comparable external experiences from a similar area.
Your assessment must address all three elements of the duty.
With regards specifically to advancing equality of opportunity and undertaking impact assessments, you should consider if the policy:
Helps you to remove or minimise disadvantage?
Meets the needs of different groups?
Encourages increased participation of particular groups?
Takes account of disabled people’s requirements
Further guidance on EQIAs and FSD impact assessments is available here