Stages in an equality planning process
1. Formation of a working group
It is worth setting up a separate work group to draw up the non-discrimination plan. The group should contain representatives of the staff, management and groups at risk of discrimination. First on the agenda would be for the group to discuss why the plan is being produced what benefit it will have how it relates to the work of the organisation whether the group contains all the essential elements what sort of resources are at the group’s disposal (working hours, staff)
To encourage participation, the organisation should announce that the plan is being drafted and that the consultation procedure is under way as early on as possible. Information makes it easier to collect data and encourages staff to take part in the plan’s production and implementation. It is also worth considering how to inform people when the plan is ready. The following need to be kept informed:
- other major stakeholders
3. Assessment of the equality situation
The drawing up of the actual plan starts by making a survey of the situation, where the organisation’s work and operating environment are assessed from the perspective of equality. A key issue to look at here is how equal the approaches to its various functions are from the point of view of different groups. The assessment can be based on several data collection methods and sources, such as:
- looking at how existing strategies, guidelines and policies take account
- of issues of equality and non-discrimination
- statistics and data on the operating environment and clients
- statistics and data on staff
- indicators and other performance management data describing the
- quality of the operation
- client feedback
- complaints received
- non-discrimination surveys for staff and clients
- consultation with different groups
- other separate studies, such as accessibility surveys, the monitoring of the drafting of statutes, etc.
The survey should make use of any gender equality plan in place as well as existing questionnaires. It is worth considering the limitations to the collection of data when a survey of the situation is being made. How and what sort of data is it possible to obtain from different groups and where is the borderline between data collection and the protection of privacy?
4. Targeting of measures
Tangible measures should be included in the equality plan to develop issues that arose in the survey of the situation. When measures are being developed it is important to decide:
- what the aim of the measure is
- who will be responsible for it and how it will be financed
- what its timetable for implementation is
- how the impact of the measures will be assessed
5. Writing and adopting the plan
A description of the planning process, the methods used in surveying the situation and the measures for development selected are assembled in the form of an equality plan, a strategic document for the promotion of equality. The plan is considered and discussed, edited and adopted in its final version as part of the organisation’s normal decision-making procedure.
6. Communication and implementation
The measures in the equality plan are implemented and communicated according to the agreed timetable.
The impact of measures should be monitored at regular intervals. Responsibility for this can be that of an existing follow-up group or one set up specifically for the purpose. Monitoring might take the following forms:
- quality assurance procedures
- using other indicators and impact assessment methods
- other feedback mechanisms
Both the situation with respect to non-discrimination and the implementation of the plan should be monitored.
A good plan is temporary by nature. When the time comes, it will need to be updated in order to improve its effectiveness. Updates are made with reference to the monitoring of the plan’s implementation and of the situation regarding equality.