Data collection and recording – Government action
UK Government actions
- In March 2021, the census for England and Wales was carried out, on a ‘digital-first’ basis. The census included voluntary questions on sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time, and an expanded question on ethnicity.
- In October 2020, the Inclusive Data Taskforce was established to improve the collection of inclusive data across the UK. Between January and March 2021, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) held a consultation on improving the inclusivity of the UK data landscape.
- In July 2020, the UK Statistics Authority published a new five-year strategy, which includes a strategic aim to improve the inclusivity of data, statistics and analysis.
- In December 2019, the ONS began publishing analysis of statistics for disabled people across various topics.
- In April 2019, the Government Statistical Service Harmonisation Champion Network was launched to expand the reach of harmonisation standards and make data collection more comparable. In 2019 and 2020, standards or guidance were published on: ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, sex and gender, pregnancy and maternity, gender identity, religion, age and marital or partnership status.
- In October 2017, the Race Disparity Unit launched a website compiling UK Government ethnicity data across a range of topics. In July 2020, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was established, with an aim of improving the evidence base on racial inequalities. .
- In April 2017, the Digital Economy Act 2017 received royal assent. It introduced a framework for sharing personal data across specific parts of the public sector.
- The Centre for Equalities and Inclusion was established by the ONS in 2017 to improve the evidence base for understanding equity and fairness across the UK.
- In October 2018, the ONS published a UK-wide audit of data on the nine protected characteristics specified in the Equality Act 2010. Further updates were published in 2019 and 2021.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on data collection and recording.
Welsh Government actions
The collection and recording of data is partially devolved, with the Welsh Government having responsibility over data collection for some devolved issues, such as health, social care and education.
- In June 2021, the Welsh Programme for Government 2021–2026 included a commitment to create a race disparity unit and an equality data unit.
- In March 2021, the Welsh Government reiterated its commitment to develop a national social care data strategy for Wales.
- In December 2020, the Welsh Government consulted on its Children’s Rights Scheme, including proposals to develop a children’s rights evidence strategy to identify and address data gaps.
- In June 2020, the Welsh Government announced a reprioritisation of the publication of data during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the suspension of most data collections from public bodies in 2020 and 2021 to focus on developing and publishing new statistical outputs to inform the public during the pandemic.
- In September 2019, the Welsh Government launched its new open data platform, with links to equality data from public bodies in open data format. The Welsh Government supported public bodies previously by sharing guidance on publishing open data tables.
- In 2018, the Welsh Government published a strategic framework for Welsh Government surveys outlining how survey data needs to be fit for purpose.
- In March 2016, the Welsh Government published its Open Data Plan, committing to expand access to its data to improve transparency and accountability and drive innovation.
Read our assessment of the Welsh Government’s progress on data collection and recording.