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Measuring progress on equality: qualitative evidence

How to use qualitative evidence to measure progress towards equality objectives

Identifying and measuring the impact of equality activity on the working and learning environment of a higher education institution or college can be complex. It may take several years before a benefit is realised, and there is often more than one stage and level of impact. Pinpointing a direct relationship between specific activity and a specific impact is therefore challenging, particularly for equality areas where there is little quantitative data.

Qualitative evidence can be used either on its own or in conjunction with quantitative data to help identify and measure progress on equality, and ultimately impact.

Using qualitative evidence to measure progress is beneficial for:

  • meeting equality legislation
  • illustrating a case for change
  • quality assurance and an inclusive culture
  • demonstrating impact

This guidance sets out five steps to gathering, analysing and using qualitative evidence to help measure progress on equality and the impact of specific initiatives:

  1. establish: qualitative baselines
  2. formulate: qualitative indicators
  3. review: qualitative monitoring
  4. analyse: evidence of progress
  5. report: progress at all levels