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Ali Jarvis 8 th November 2012 Fostering Understanding, Reducing Prejudice - Case study research findings.

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Presentation on theme: "Ali Jarvis 8 th November 2012 Fostering Understanding, Reducing Prejudice - Case study research findings."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ali Jarvis 8 th November 2012 Fostering Understanding, Reducing Prejudice - Case study research findings

2 The Project Brief Use case studies to explore public authorities practices in fostering good relations Identify transferable good practice – focus on outcomes and measurement Keep approaches and messages simple – topic risks being over-complicated Objective - to support improved implementation and impact of good relations aspects of public sector equality duty

3 Our overall approach Build on work already done by Commission around four GR domains (attitudes, personal security, interactions, participation / influence) Use the case studies to show relationship between; o a public bodies positioning and purpose, o the fostering of good relations o the achievement of existing national outcomes Recognise that GR is about everyone not just minorities Generate learning and transferable tools to support and promote change Also articulate any gaps in practice / understanding

4 C ase study structure / research approach Research questionnaire designed around 6 key areas; o Description of the activity o Identification of need – Why do it? o What were the expected outcomes? Measurement approaches o Key achievements and successes o Transferability o Wider understanding of GR as a result? Participation voluntary. Case studies simply examples of emerging / good practice not critical evaluations

5 The Case Studies (Story / Key Findings) Respect 4 All – A local multi-agency approach to good relations in secondary education delivered using an expressive arts approach through two schools in Aberdeenshire. Showed need for know-how in working around protected characteristics with much value in external delivery A timely point of intervention in young peoples development Provided inter-disciplinary learning facilitated through use of creative arts and other expressive techniques Formal measurement was difficult given the approach and timeframe but wide perceptions of reduction in pupil friction

6 The Case Studies (Story / Key Findings) Scottish Prison Service - An exploration of how a change in national objectives within the business plan both reflects and supports local understanding and implementation of Good relations activity. Need to develop wider understanding of good relations Identities and inter-group relationships are multi-layered and can change under different stimulus Evidence is key to making the case and assessing progress but measurement remains difficult Different environments (such as prisons) can have distinct cultural norms which create good relations challenges beyond those experience elsewhere

7 The Case Studies (Story / Key Findings) GYPSIES/TRAVELLERS A new approach to an old problem – Police and partners working together to recognise and develop sustainable approaches to settled and travelling population relations in Aberdeenshire Inter-agency working is most effective when there is consistency of approach and shared resources / learning Formal forums not necessarily best suited to on-going dialogue. A variety of partnerships and contact opportunities may be more flexible and accessible Sometimes you cant get to the softer underlying issues without addressing a presenting problem head-on Must take account of all perspectives and be seen as even-handed

8 The Case Studies (Story / Key Findings) Mental Health Anti Stigma – The good relations approach of the Glasgow anti-stigma partnership as illustrated through the Mosaics of Meaning activity To be presented in depth as part of this seminar

9 Key Learnings fell into 8 areas 1. Drivers of GR 2. Levels of understanding 3. Relationship to equality and diversity 4. Level of integration with core activity 5. Partnerships with communities 6. Reflecting the wider world / organisational focus 7. Achieving effective engagement 8. Measuring progress

10 Summary of Key learning (1) GR Drivers Often problem specific Meeting a gap or changing context conflict vs contact Understanding Knowledge of protected characteristics often low Lack of clarity on good relations Not always seen as a requirement Relationship to E&D GR seen as an equalities issue Often including or raising awareness of the minority rather than reviewing the dynamics of the whole Integration to core Best work is embedded, not an add-on initiative Could be better linked to National Outcomes

11 Summary of Key learning (2) Partnership with communities Needs genuine engagement and power transfer Allows external insights and expertise Brings together different groups Wider world / org focus Confidence to address prejudice early Wider political risks / sensitivities Clear public communication Engagement Needs a hook or local resonance to ensure relevance Involvement of known / trusted volunteers Measurement Easier to describe poor relations than good relations Qualitative as valuable as quantitative Need to recognise the long time frames

12 Points for Reflection While there is a broad sense of the four domains of GR, there was no evidence that this had been driven by the Commissions measurement framework Little work has been done on setting clear GR outcomes as a precursor to developing practical activity Good Relations is often considered when diversity becomes visible and/or tensions arise Good relations work less of a one-off reaction to a situation and more of a long term way of operating. Action on equality / anti-discrimination can have a knock- on impact on good relations

13 Points for Reflection Issues of critical mass around small scale work. For group attitudes to shift, one-off interventions unsustainable Staff directly involved are passionate / see direct benefit but feel have to educate and encourage others Using small budgets and local activities to mobilise community engagement ensures grass roots momentum Public bodies need the confidence, skills and willingness to recognise and tackle prejudice early and address political sensitivities. o Avoidance can make things worse

14 The future? - Understanding Widen the understanding, volume and reach of good relations so that it can be: o Recognised as a core and inter-related requirement of the Equality Act. o Seen as relevant to all public authorities. o Reaching beyond the equality and diversity agenda and embedded into all aspects of public sector activity. o Pursued as a continuous process of engagement and not reactive to situations that arise. o Built on effective and sustainable partnerships with groups having different characteristics and their advocates.

15 The future ? – Handling sensitivities Effective good relations work will require public authorities to challenge their own and others personal belief systems o How well-equipped are they to undertake this?. Different approaches may need to be taken to shaping behaviours or to influencing the attitudes underpinning those behaviours. Need to more effectively engage public authorities in seeing this as part of the national performance framework so that the positive benefits can be more easily built into national and local political agendas and so reduce local political sensitivities.

16 The future ? – Improving measures Support public authorities to articulate what they hope to achieve through good relations activity before they then try and establish measures to assess effectiveness. o Develop outcome and progress measures that are relevant and appropriate to the activity being undertaken. Identify ways to effectively measure something that is often described as being about what people feel. Are local, national or defined population attitudes surveys perhaps relevant? Raising awareness of the existing good relations measurement framework and making it more accessible for use within a public authority suite of indicators.

17 The future ? – Identifying gaps Work more closely with Scottish Government on interaction between National Outcomes and the public sector GR duty. Identify and support key opinion formers and positive advocates for protected characteristic groups or good relations generally. Identify where within communities or on particular issues there are tipping points into more positive (or negative) inter-group relations and how these can be more effectively accelerated or mitigated. Explore ways to translate localised grassroots practices into robust public authority procedures when much work still relies on localised relationships and one to one interactions.

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