Pilot Local Authorities

Local authorities and public bodies across Scotland are working to improve and build on their impact assessment processes in line with the public sector equality duty and published guidance .

Many public bodies are also now taking steps to integrate human rights into their impact assessment models. 

Each Council has taken its own approach to equality and human rights impact assessment without applying any one standard methodology or toolkit, which would not on its own embed any transformative change or lead to a deepened understanding of how EQHRIA can lead to improved outcomes and performance.  The reports published here reflect the activity of each Council to date and some of lessons learned and challenges to overcome.

From 2012 - 2014 the Commissions have been working with Fife Council and Renfrewshire Council to begin to embed Good Practice Building Blocks in integrated equality and human rights impact assessment and pilot practical approaches at a local level.

"By combining both together [equality and human rights] I think what we ended up with was the best of all possible worlds. This wasn’t reinventing the wheel, it shouldn’t be an added burden to independent officers. It should be a tool, which if used well, supports what you do and actually makes your job easier and makes the outcomes better."

Donald Macaskill, Supporting consultant to pilot, Equal and Diverse

The assessment of human rights impact and a rights based approach to impact assessment can add value to both the process and the outcomes of policy and decision making. For further information read more about the added of value of human rights for an analysis of human rights impact assessment methodologies both in the UK and internationally.

"It is more about people's minds being set on it, rather than a resourcing issue. Behavioural and cultural change is needed to demonstrate need, impact, outcomes..."

Council officer, Fife Council (ODS consulting evaluation report)

I think across the full range of services that we provide we need to address human rights and equalities thoroughly, early and in a meaningful way so we avoid unintended consequences, comply with the law and, importantly, we just provide better outcomes for people.

David Martin, Chief Executive, Renfrewshire Council

"The human rights perspective was new for a lot of us in our pilot assessment. It wasn’t scary though, once you broke it down to what the actual duties were and what the right actually meant you could apply it. So it’s just about taking the time to understand it and apply it to the service area you’re looking at."

Pamela Rennie, Senior officer, Renfrewshire Council