AbstractThis study critically analyses the following research question: ‘Did the equality frameworks for local government support local authorities to improve the performance of their equality and diversity mainstreaming programme between 2001-2014?’ To date, the literature has not considered the contribution that equality frameworks have made to equality and diversity mainstreaming. Thus, this thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge in this area. The concept of equality and diversity mainstreaming emerged in the 1990’s and poses challenges on several levels. Not least, that there are varying definitions of equality and diversity mainstreaming; and that differing views exist as to how equality and diversity mainstreaming can be measured or assessed.
The research uses a post-positivist qualitative paradigm, which includes mixed methods, including: survey of fourteen local authorities who had achieved the ‘Excellent’ level of the Equality Framework for local government; documentary analysis; and case studies, involving three local authorities that agreed to take part in the study. To help answer the research question, six analytical questions are used to provide more focus to gathering data amongst the three local authorities. This reveals that the equality frameworks did offer the three local authorities a performance ‘tool’ to progress their equality and diversity mainstreaming work, and that all three local authorities can demonstrate progress against the various performance areas of the Equality Framework. However, the findings reveal differences in how each authority interpreted equality and diversity mainstreaming. Moreover, the performance management review schemes that the authorities are using have limitations in their applications. Both of these findings clarify why equality frameworks are not achieving all of their stated aims. As well as suggestions for future research, the findings will be of interest to academic and policy actors, with the conclusion providing a foundation to better understand the role equality frameworks can make to equality and diversity mainstreaming.
|Date of Award||9 Jun 2020|
|Supervisor||CHRIS PHELAN (Supervisor) & CHRISTOPHER DENT (Supervisor)|
- equality frameworks
- local authorities