How to mainstream

Starting mainstreaming

Map your baseline

Consider if you have the evidence & processes to combat discrimination and promote equality in relation to:

  • Decisions on new programmes, policies, services, functions etc
  • Delivery of existing programmes, policies, services, functions etc
  • All aspects of employment

Prioritise – you can’t do everything at once!

Mainstreaming criteria

  • Proportionality and relevance
  • Effectiveness
  • Involvement
  • Transparency

How to mainstream?

  • Monitor services, functions, policies, programmes and employment
  • Review and assess the impact of services, functions, policies, programmes and employment
  • Involve those who use or are affected by your services etc
  • Review the effectiveness
  • Revise your activities as necessary

Remember the human rights principles:  Dignity,  Equality,  Fairness,  Respect and Autonomy

Use existing processes / actions

  • Management / annual reports
  • Budgets
  • Risk management processes
  • Funding / procurement criteria
  • Policy development
  • Service delivery reviews / monitoring etc

Use your equality tools

  • Equality impact assessment
  • Equality audit
  • Equality Scheme
  • Equality Action Plan
  • Education
  • Consultation & participation
  • Analysis

It can be time consuming & difficult but it gets easier, however don’t get complacent!

Educational tools

These help by raising awareness / increasing knowledge e.g.:

  • Awareness-raising activities e.g. engaging with the media to challenge stereotypes or highlight an issue
  • Training courses e.g. for boards, staff or volunteers, or external bodies
  • Expert or personal testimony
  • Handbooks, leaflets & other publications
  • Educational material for use in schools / communities etc

Consultative and participatory tools

These help by improving decision-making and service delivery, e.g.:

  • Hearings and consultative fora
  • Open day, conferences and seminars
  • Feedback and comments opportunities (two-way process)
  • User / member surveys
  • Working groups, steering groups or think tanks
  • Encouraging participation of all social groups in decision-making e.g. management committees, user groups etc

Analytical tools

These help highlight and analyse the issue, e.g.:

  • Disaggregated statistics
  • Surveys and forecasts
  • Research
  • Guidelines and terms of reference
  • Equality impact assessment and differential impact analysis models
  • Indicators and monitoring tools

SO PLEASE, Make it work

  • Sustainability, including effective resource allocation
  • Ownership by all (staff, volunteers, users, members etc)
  • Participation by local community, users, members etc
  • Leadership at all levels, internally and externally, is clear and consistent (equality is prioritised)
  • Evidence based decision-making
  • Accountability and monitoring of progress through effective processes and systems
  • Support, incentives and sanctions (not a blame culture)
  • Expertise is shared by all but links to experts

Progress indicators

  • Equality & human rights issues are considered at the start of any activity / process
  • People affected feel effectively engaged
  • Improvements in services / delivery etc
  • Easy access to data / info showing the impact of your work on specific groups
  • Your organisation reflects the community it serves
  • Your organisation understands equality & human rights issues and has access to expert support (and knows when to use it)
  • Staff, volunteers, management are aware of their equality & human rights duties, understand the impact of them and are trained on equality & human rights issues

Focus on the outcomes not just the process!

Sources & Resources

Scottish Government Mainstreaming Equality Toolkit http://www.scotland.gov.uk/mainstreaming/?pageid=403

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