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Research into experiences of ethnic minorities in the UK used to improve lives

Research findings from the EVENS study (Evidence for Equality National Survey), which are available from the UK Data Service’s collection, are being used to help voluntary organisations and charities deliver better services for ethnic and religious minority communities.

EVENSinACTION is a new project that draws on the work of EVENS, which has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and administered by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE). The survey is the largest research project ever conducted on the experiences of ethnic and religious minorities living in Britain.

Cross-sector collaboration

EVENSinACTION will see researchers working with five different partner organisations who helped promote the EVENS survey to respondents. These are BEMIS, Friends, Families and Travellers, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Stuart Hall Foundation. The initiative will allow each organisation to receive resources that can address important questions for their work.

Professor Nissa Finney from the University of St Andrews, who has led the EVENS project, told us: “Through EVENSinACTION, we have continued collaborations with EVENS partners that began at the start of the project in 2020. Together, we have produced the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind to document the lives of ethnic and religious minorities in Britain. Now, EVENSinACTION is putting the novel findings from the survey into practice, providing evidence for race equality initiatives across the country. It’s a fantastic example of how cross-sector collaboration and co-production can bring innovation in knowledge and effect social change.”

Making a difference with data

Dr Nigel de Noronha, who works as a Research Associate at the UK Data Service and has helped lead the EVENSinACTION, explained: “This is another great example of how voluntary and community sector organisations can use data held in the UK Data Service collection to really make a difference to people’s lives.”

EVENSinACTION has also proven to be a valuable learning opportunity for the researchers involved. Joseph Harrison, a PhD student at the University of St Andrews who is working on the project, said: “Working on EvensInAction has been a great experience. Learning more about Friends, Families and Travellers and helping them unlock the power of the EVENS data for their advocacy work was very rewarding.”

Another researcher working on EVENSinACTION, Michaela Šťastná, who is also a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, told us: “Being a part of the project was a great opportunity to see how our analytical work helps organisations who are invested in supporting and understanding the lives of ethnic and religious minorities in Britain.”

Further information

To learn more about EVENS, see the accompanying book, Racism and Ethnic Inequality in a Time of Crisis: Findings from the Evidence for Equality National Survey, which brings together some early findings from the research. The book was edited by Nissa Finney, James Nazroo, Laia Bécares, Dharmi Kapadia and Natalie Shlomo, and is available as a paperback or as a free download from Bristol University Press.