University of St Andrews leads the UK’s largest survey of ethnic and religious minority people during Covid-19

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The UK’s first and largest survey on the impact of Covid-19 on the lives of ethnic and religious minority people, led by the University of St Andrews and the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), has launched.

The Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) 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 ethnic and religious minority people during the pandemic.

Among the topics to be surveyed are employment, finance, education, economic wellbeing, health, housing, policing, identity, and experiences of discrimination and racism.

In partnership with the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), the University of Manchester, and the University of Sussex, EVENS is 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, and will run for three months until May 2021.

Dr Nissa Finney, EVENS’ Lead and Reader in Human Geography at the University of St Andrews, said:

“Disadvantages of ethnic and religious minorities 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.

“When published, EVENS will help place ethnic inequalities and racism firmly on the political and policy agenda in an enduring manner. The data will be freely available and can be used by anyone, from our VCSE partners, activists and politicians to policymakers, campaigners, NGOs and Experts by Experience in the UK. As well as showing us what the key problems of disadvantage and inequality are for particular groups, we want people to be able to evidence the inequalities and how they should be addressed.”

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. We will be asking how your life has been affected by the pandemic. We will ask about work and health, caring and housing. We will ask about experiences of racism and discrimination. 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.”