Monday, June 16, 2008

Equality and diversity: the Third Sector struggling to match words with actions

The community investment foundation Olmec has just published A Guide to Equality and Diversity in the Third Sector (pdf available). The guide provides a useful set of signposts to more information.

The guide came out of the findings of an Olmec survey of 159 third sector organisations (pdf available). The study found that the third sector had its heart in the right place with 97% of organisations having an equality and diversity policy but problems in putting it into practice.

The study found more work needed to be done in two main areas:

Firstly in ensuring that the commitment to equalities is demonstrated at the
highest level of an organisation. Secondly that this commitment is transmitted across all policy and strategy areas as well as in individual work plans, performance targets, measurements and reporting requirements. In particular organisations current monitoring systems do not lend themselves to reporting on outcomes and the difference their work has had on those who it is set up to serve. Equalities monitoring was largely directed by funders requirements rather than because it was part of an internal drive to achieve better equalities outcomes or part of externally accredited quality standards.

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