Assessment of equality

Assessment of equality is an important means of promoting equality in municipal activities. The assessment helps in identifying discrimination and means for improving the equality of activities. 

From the perspective of equality, it is important to assess

Assessment of the current state

The assessment of the current state of equality in the municipality is the first stage in the preparation of the equality plan.

The purpose of the assessment is to:

  • identify discrimination
  • identify development needs related to activities or services
  • find ways to improve the equality of activities.

Based on the assessment, an authority, education provider or employer can take effective measures to prevent discrimination, intervene in it and promote equality of all people.

Instructions for the assessment can be found in the tool prepared by the Ministry of Justice for assessing the current equality status of activities: 
Assessment of equality (Finlex, in Finnish)

Preliminary impact assessment

Decisions, measures and services implemented in municipalities do not impact different groups of people in the same way. Understanding the diversity of people and taking different needs into account already when planning services and activities increases impact.

Human Impact Assessment (HuIA) is a form of prospective (ex-ante) assessment. The ex-ante assessment serves as a tool for decision-making and planning of activities, and it can be used to actively influence the future. The assessment increases conscious decisions that can strengthen positive impacts and reduce unwanted impacts. Assessment is an important tool for promoting equality and non-discrimination.  

The purpose of the ex-ante human impact assessment is to answer the following questions:

  • How will the decision, measure or project now being planned affect different population groups? 
  • What positive and negative impacts does the decision have on different population groups? 
  • How should these impacts be taken into account in a proposed decision or in the planning and implementation of a project or measure in order to fulfil the obligation to promote equality and non-discrimination?

When assessing impacts, it is important to note that people have many characteristics at the same time, such as gender, origin functional capacity, and age, which together affect how a municipality's decision or measure will affect their life. Together, some factors can further increase the risk of being discriminated against.

When carrying out an ex-ante human impact assessment, these crossing factors must be taken into account where possible. Statistical averages can hide differences within groups. When examining something like homelessness, it may look different from the perspective of older women than for older Roma women. 

Such intersectional examination of different factors is often referred to as intersectional examination. It is important to ensure that at the very least a decision or measure does not weaken the situation of the already vulnerable. The perspective of intersectional differences is needed to identify the possible different impacts of the decision within population and minority groups. 

Guides and instructions for the ex-ante assessment of impacts

Assessment Data Sources

  • Key statistics and indicators to support the assessment
  • Integration database
    Housing, employment, migration, families and demographic structure of the immigrant population. The municipality can determine the statistics it needs.
  • Welfare report
    An information package on the welfare and health of residents and the factors affecting them prepared jointly by different sectors. It is a tool for management and decision-making using the municipality’s welfare data.