RESEARCH 

BIRMINGHAM EQUALITY REPORT 2015

Commissioned by: Barrow Cadbury Trust

This is the second in a series of annually updated reports outlining progress on equality in key areas of life in Birmingham. Whilst much of this information is in the public domain from various public agencies, it is not always easily accessed and is rarely pulled together in the same place to describe what is happening in the city as a whole. This year’s report focuses more closely on particular areas of public sector delivery: education, employment, and criminal justice. As with the previous report, we are encouraging people to get in touch with us to share any additional evidence or data they may have.

statistics, health inequalities, housing inequalities, education inequalities, civil society

FROM BENIGN NEGLECT TO CITIZEN KHAN

Commissioned by: Barrow Cadbury Trust


A number of cities – from Plymouth to Sheffield to York – have held fairness commissions in recent years to understand why entrenched inequalities persist. As useful and, in some cases, penetrating as these commissions have been they have tended to ignore the nuts and bolts of how public agencies ‘do’ equality – how they go about tackling discrimination, eradicating social patterns of disadvantage, and fulfilling their legislative equalities duties. This is a serious gap. Understanding why these approaches have failed may go some way to explain why serious inequalities continue. This report tries to fill that gap by: exploring how one city (Birmingham) has approached equalities issues over the last 30 years; trying to sketch the impact of these approaches; suggesting how we can do things differently in the future 

equalities practice, human rights, models of equality

IS EXCESSIVE PAPERWORK UNDERMINING CARE FOR OLDER PEOPLE?

Commissioned by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Are older people in care homes missing out on quality time with staff because workers are preoccupied with paperwork? Care homes have to regularly complete more than 100 separate items of paperwork, often duplicating the same information, this study found. Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, brap researchers visited care homes and spoke to staff who felt they were judged more on their ability to produce paperwork than deliver care. The research recommends that the sector rethinks its priorities and makes changes to the way it deals with administration so older people can be given more compassionate, personalised care. 

older people, patient experience, autonomy, human rights, equalities practice

poverty reduction, financial inclusion, ethnicity, social networks

MAKING THE LINKS: POVERTY, ETHNICITY, AND SOCIAL NETWORKS

Commissioned by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

This report examines the ways in which people use social networks to help cope with or escape from poverty, and how this varies within and between ethnic groups. It shows how networks can also function to restrict ambition and hinder attempts to move on in life. Drawing on interviews and case studies with people from a range of ethnicities and income brackets, the study explores how people’s propensity to use networks to move out of poverty is affected by different levels of awareness, access and ability. Co-produced with a range of research partners.

IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH FOR BME COMMUNITIES

Commissioned by: Barrow Cadbury Trust

There have been a number of high profile campaigns to raise awareness of mental illness, and to help people understand the impact of discriminatory attitudes towards those who are affected. But what if you are from a Black or minority ethnic group and you also have a mental illness? Does it matter? Do these dual labels conspire to make your life harder? This report is a summary of a discussion between 20 mental health organisations on these issues. 

fairer commissioning, mental health, health inequalities, ethnicity, civil society

CRITICAL INTEGRATION: A HANDBOOK FOR ACTION

Commissioned by: Baring Foundation

This is a facilitators handbook, designed for those interested in promoting interculturalism and critical integration. It contains activities that will help people understand what interculturalism is about and how it can be practised. It is intended to be used by grassroots organisations and anyone working with communities. Its aim is to help form and shape policy and services. 

community relations, integration, migration, conflict resolution

STUCK: CURRENT APPROACHES TO ADDRESSING GANG CRIME

Commissioned by: Barrow Cadbury Trust

In 2011 there were an estimated 42 urban street gangs in Birmingham, involving about 400 individuals. This report looks into the interventions designed to help them. Based on interviews with 31 gang-affiliated members; seven voluntary and community sector organisations; three law enforcement agencies; seven independent experts, and two academics, Stuck gets to the very heart of what those on the frontline think about our current approach to tackling crime. The report takes a critical look at key topics including: reasons for joining gangs; challenges of multi-agency work; the need for more sensitive screening and profiling; perceptions of gang members as victims; the need to identify good practice; how and why to involve young people in the design and scrutiny of services; and the challenge of sustainability in community-led responses.

young people, gang crime, youth violence, fairer commissioning

STUCK: STAKEHOLDER VIEWS ON GANG CRIME

Commissioned by: Barrow Cadbury Trust

This short paper is a summary of a seminar which explored current approaches to responding to gang-related violence in Birmingham and the West Midlands. In addition to a panel of expert speakers, the seminar was attended by 35 practitioners from a range of agencies working in the voluntary, public, and private sectors. In addition to providing an overview of the discussions held during the seminar, this report includes, for those who are interested, short summaries of each speaker’s contribution.

young people, gang crime, youth violence, fairer commissioning

A LINE IN THE SAND

Commissioned by: brap

A Line in the Sand is a survey of over 450 young people in Birmingham. It outlines their experiences of education, looking for a job, and what changes they would like to see to make society fairer and more equitable.

young people, education, employment, human rights

BARTS HEALTH EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Commissioned by: Barts Health NHS Trust

This equality and human rights impact assessment analyses the merger of three London hospital trusts. Conducted between January and March 2012, the report has been included here as it contains a wealth of demographic, health, and socioeconomic data relating to three diverse London boroughs.

health inequalities, human rights, patient experience, fairer commissioning, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation

INTERCULTURALISM: A BREAKDOWN OF THINKING AND PRACTICE

Commissioned by: Baring Foundation

After 60 years of community relations policies - from assimilation, to multiculturalism, to community cohesion, to a new, Big Society approach - are we anywhere nearer to solving the problems of integration? This report explores these ideas and more. Based on research into the frontline activities of organisations the report looks at: how past approaches to community relations (such as multiculturalism) have affected the way communities interact; the activities, initiatives, and projects that are taking place on the ground; and how integration can be promoted

community relations, integration, migration, conflict resolution

CHILD PROTECTION AND BME COMMUNITIES

Commissioned by: brap

This short paper is a summary of a conference held to discuss key issues relating to child protection. Speeches and working group discussions focused on: the importance of improving professional practice in relation to BME children; the contribution of recent child welfare reforms to improving services for BME children; problems with past equalities approaches; how issues of race, ethnicity and culture can impact on cases of sexual exploitation; and the skills professionals need to apply around issues of equality in their day to day practice.

safeguarding, child protection, young people, ethnicity, equalities practice

SOCIAL NETWORKS: THEIR ROLE IN ADDRESSING POVERTY

Commissioned by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Recognising the importance of social networks in shaping people’s lives and influencing their capacity to access a range of opportunities, this report explores what networks can play in reducing poverty. Exploring how differences in social networks affect poverty among people from different ethnic backgrounds and the potential for current social networks to provide better support in relation to routes of poverty, this report is a timely read in light of the Big Society agenda.

poverty reduction, financial inclusion, ethnicity, social networks

MANAGING COMPETING EQUALITY CLAIMS

Commissioned by: Equality and Diversity Forum

Commissioned by the Equality and Diversity Forum to stimulate debate about how to address situations where individual rights conflict, this report takes a practical approach, incorporating case studies of some recent ‘conflicts’ and identifying the lessons that can be drawn from them. Useful to anyone interested in dealing with workplace conflicts, promoting community cohesion, or deciding how to make and explain spending cuts in an increasingly lean financial environment.

human rights, equalities practice, cohesion, conflict resolution

DEVELOPING A HUMAN RIGHTS FRAMEWORK FOR CANCER CARE

Commissioned by: Macmillan Cancer Support

 

Unfairness in the health system means there are major inequalities in cancer incidence, uptake of services, and outcomes according to people’s socio-economic position and other aspects of their background and identity. This report outlines how a human rights framework can be used to reinvigorate the relationship between staff and patients, to improve cancer treatment and the experience of care for everyone. 

health inequalities, patient experience, human rights, equalities practice

THE PIED PIPER

Commissioned by: CapacityBuilders

The Pied Piper is all about the black and minority ethnic third sector – its roots, the political context in which it operates, the challenges it faces, and its future development. As well as being a useful resource for people working with or for BME third sector organisations, The Pied Piper is a provocative and enjoyable account of the last 60 years of race relations – a good read as well as a good resource. Packed full of information and analysis, The Pied Piper shows that the development needs of the BME sector are different – but for reasons that are more complex than is generally understood. Nelarine Cornelius, Professor of Human Resource Management at Bradford University, described the book as “an excellent overview of modern race relations – extremely useful to anyone wanting to know why the BME third sector is the way it is

ethnicity, civil society, fairer commissioning, equalities practice

INEQUALITY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Commissioned by: Government Office for the West Midlands

For some years now it has been established practice for public sector organisations to engage and consult with third sector organisations. This comprehensive and – at times – provocative report examines how, why and with what purpose regional agencies engage with third sector equality bodies in the course of regional policy-making. Specifically, the report provides an indication of the support needs third sector and regional agencies have regarding equalities-related engagement, and how organisations have different views on what constitutes ‘effective’ engagement.

ethnicity, civil society, fairer commissioning, equalities practice

THE 'RELIGION OR BELIEF' STRAND IN LAW AND POLICY

Commissioned by: British Humanist Association

Shining a light on this much misunderstood and hotly contested area of equalities law and practice, the report examines how current approaches to policy and legislation on ‘religion or belief’ need to change if we are to ensure equality for a range of people in the UK. Given confusion regarding the term ‘religion or belief’ as used in the Human Rights Act, the increasing involvement of faith groups in public sector delivery, and tensions within government cohesion and anti-extremism policies, The ‘Religion or Belief’ Equality Strand is a comprehensive overview of an extremely important topic.

religion or belief, legislation, equalities practice, human rights, conflict resolution

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