Contents

Foreword

Summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Health
  3. Economy, Fair Work and Business, Culture
  4. Communities, Poverty, Human Rights
  5. Children, Education
  6. Environment, International
  7. Unequal impacts across the National Outcomes

 

What COVID-19 may mean for Scotland’s Wellbeing in the Future

1. Introduction

 

Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF)

The National Performance Framework sets out a purpose, values and 11 National Outcomes for Scotland, showing the kind of country we want to be. It is Scotland’s wellbeing framework, and reflects the issues that affect people in Scotland now and for future generations. The 11 National Outcomes are aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which set out the major global challenges to be achieved by all nations by 2030.

Progress towards the vision in the NPF is tracked through 81 National Indicators covering a broad range of social, environmental and economic measures. Performance against these measures is reported openly and transparently on the NPF website.

COVID-19 and NPF Indicators

Existing National Indicators are based on robust data sources that typically have a delay of many months between the point in time when the data are collected, and when the data are published. As a result, the impact of COVID-19 from March 2020 onwards will not be seen for some time within the NPF indicator set itself.

This report draws on a range of data and evidence from beyond the National Indicators to show the impact of COVID-19 across the National Outcomes.  It also brings together analysis and insight from a range of sources that suggest what the impact may be in the future.

Also, importantly, it draws on a range of sources to reflect the lived experience of our people, particularly the fears, needs and hopes of those disproportionately impacted. Chiefly, this includes drawing on the work of the Social Renewal Advisory Board and the Community Listening Events it has coordinated across Scotland during the pandemic. The full report of the Social Renewal Advisory Board will be published early in 2021.

Scottish Government’s “Four Harms” approach to COVID-19

Recognising the harms of COVID-19 go beyond its impacts on health alone, the Scottish Government monitors and publishes evidence on the direct heath, indirect health, economic, and social impacts, on its Four Harms analytical dashboard and a recent evidence paper on assessing the four harms of the crisis.

This approach helps brings transparency to the Scottish Government’s work and decisions on the difficult issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. It recognises that many outcomes are interconnected and that there is a need to think deeply about these relationships when making decisions informed by the best available evidence.

How was Scotland performing before COVID-19?

The 2019 NPF publication “Scotland’s Wellbeing” reported on key long term trends in data from the National Indicators and other sources to provide an overall picture of Scotland’s national wellbeing.

It highlighted areas where Scotland has made strong progress, including:

  • Labour market performance and reducing the gender pay gap
  • Renewables performance with three quarters of gross electricity consumption from renewables in 2018
  • Reduction in Scotland’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Crime victimisation becoming less common over the last decade
  • Significant progress in reducing premature mortality
  • Reduction of the gap in educational attainment between the most and least deprived
  • Scotland’s strong international reputation, cultural sector and cultural engagement

But it also highlighted areas where substantial challenges remain, particularly around unequal outcomes experienced between different groups of people in Scotland, including:

  • Levels of in-work poverty and low pay for some groups and sectors
  • The prevalence of food insecurity for some households in Scotland
  • Employment gaps for people with a disability and in some ethnic groups
  • Substantial differences in healthy life expectancy by deprivation
  • Drug related deaths at the highest number ever recorded
  • Declines in reported satisfaction with some public services
  • A relatively low proportion of people who think they can influence decisions in their local area

Updated information on the performance of the National Indicator set and detail on how performance is assessed is always available on the NPF website. A pre-COVID-19 review of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals is also available, bringing together evidence, actions and stories of how Scotland is making progress towards the SDGs.

 

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