UK launches largest survey to document the impact of Covid-19 on ethnic and religious minorities


THE UK on Tuesday(16) launched its first and largest survey to document the impact of Covid-19, and the lockdowns, on the lives of 17,000 ethnic and religious minority people.

The Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS), ,which will run for three months until May 2021, aims to transform the policy landscape, inform work and campaigns for racial justice, and create a data legacy by providing robust evidence on a comprehensive range of issues facing minorities during the pandemic.

It being conducted by Ipsos MORI and has been translated into 13 languages. The 30-minute survey will target the full range of ethnic and religious minority groups, including Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people and Jewish communities, across England, Scotland and Wales.

Topics such as employment, finance, education, economic wellbeing, health, housing, policing, identity and experiences of discrimination and racism will be covered under the survey, a statement said.

The survey will be led by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) in partnership with the University of Manchester, the University of St Andrews and the University of Sussex.

Dr Nissa Finney, EVENS’ lead and reader in Human Geography at the University of St Andrews, said: “Disadvantages of ethnic and religious minority people have been highlighted and exacerbated by the period of austerity, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning there is an urgent need to act to mitigate growing inequalities. EVENS will give us a unique and authentic representation of the lives of ethnic and religious minority people in Britain during the current crisis.”

Professor James Nazroo, deputy director of CoDE and EVENS’ co-lead, said: “This ground-breaking survey will help shift the narrative on ethnic and religious inequalities in modern Britain. There is an urgency as practitioners and policymakers are crying out for robust and comprehensive scientific evidence that they can use to understand and address the inequalities faced by ethnic and religious minority people. EVENS will provide that evidence.”

The survey will partner with Operation Black Vote (OBV), the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), The Ubele Initiative, the Stuart Hall Foundation, EYST (Wales), Migrants’ Rights Network, BEMIS (Scotland), the Race Equality Foundation and Business in the Community.

Zara Mohammed, the new secretary general of MCB, has said that EVENS will benefit society as a whole because it will be a snapshot of people’s experiences and point out where something needs to be done.

“It also aims to reach out to Muslim respondents to a far greater degree and with a wider range of questions affecting their daily lives than other social surveys. EVENS will provide comprehensive, evidence-based and up to date information to better highlight and address inequalities and forms of discrimination,” she added.

The virtual press launch of EVENS on Tuesday was chaired by Professor Gary Younge. Molly Rosenberg, director, the Royal Society of Literature, Sir Simon Woolley, director, OBV, Claire Rice, community engagement worker, GATEHerts and Dr Dharmi Kapdia, lead researcher, CoDE, Zara Mohammed, Professor James Nazroo and Dr Nissa Finney have participated.

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