Inclusion of Relevant Actors in the Development and Collection of Data

“ECRI also consistently stresses that such data should be collected (…) in close co-operation with all the relevant actors, including civil society organisations”, ECRI General Policy Recommendation N°11, 2007.

When collecting sensitive data on ethnicity, religion, and group affiliation the principle of involvement of affected communities, their representative structures in the development process of studies, as well as in the definition and selection of categories to be used is recommended by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).

Conceptualizing Studies

Although this is so far only considered in exceptional cases, it is advised that during the development phases of a survey it is important to involve socio-political and sociologically oriented communities in the direction of these surveys. In research design, data collection methods can therefore be tailored for the target group, questions made culturally sensitive, and appropriate terminology found. This would strengthen the acceptance, and cooperation of respondents towards a survey.

Creation of categories in accordance with communities

Category names are not static and depend on the evolution of societies. Whereas it seemed appropriate in the 70s to describe immigrants as ‘foreigners’ in Germany, this term is now considered inappropriate. A social change has taken place here. Therefore, categories that appear politically correct, adequate, and proper today may become outdated in 10 years. To reflect such social changes in statistics, it is important to be in dialogue with relevant communities, and where necessary adjust terms for categories.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2018