Race Disparity Unit wins a Research Excellence Award from ONS
Following their work to identify and tackle the health disparities caused by COVID-19, the Race Disparity Unit (RDU), part of the government’s Equality Hub, has been awarded a Research Excellence Award by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This winning research from the RDU has connected data providers and researchers, identifying new risk factors for different ethnic groups, leading to a series of government interventions to protect ethnic minorities from infection and mortality from COVID-19.
In total, five teams of researchers have been recognized at Research Capability 2021, an event held by the ONS, which recognizes outstanding, innovative research carried out using ONS secure data or data managed by ONS on behalf of others.
The Programme Award was accepted by Vasileios Antonopoulos, Head of Analysis and Briefing at the RDU, on behalf of the organization.
Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch, said:
“I am very proud of my officials for their hard work over the last 18 months. The research by the Race Disparity Unit has supported life-saving innovations in our COVID-19 approach, including a communications campaign to dispel myths about the virus and the vaccine.
“They’ve supported the Government in tackling dangerous disinformation and collaborated with trusted partners to promote confidence in the vaccine.
“Our commitment to build back fairer, leaving no one behind means this government will do everything it can to address the long-term impacts of the pandemic on ethnic minorities, and others disproportionately affected, in our post-COVID recovery strategy.”
This project was singled out by the judges as exemplifying the quality of research possible in a time of crisis and required close collaboration between government and academia.
Leading to several instances of targeted government support to address disparities for ethnic minorities during the pandemic, this project demonstrated how data-driven insight can deliver positive outcomes and have an immediate impact on policy.”
Alison Pritchard, Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability
Professor Keith Neil, an independent advisor to Government on the COVID-19 work, said:
“After reporting of a high risk of deaths from COVID-19 amongst ethnic minorities the Race Disparities Unit was quick off the mark to investigate this issue.
“This critical work has had a huge impact on disadvantaged groups during an unprecedented time. It has the potential to build upon existing research on inequalities for effective action in the future.”