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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Tool (EDIT)

Under the Equality Act 2010, public bodies and those carrying out public functions are required to consider equality. Highways England, responsible for the maintenance and management of the Strategic Road Network in England, is bound to ensure the network is accessible and that economic and social opportunities are maximised for all users. We were asked to design a tool to support them in this.

Mott MacDonald has helped the Agency to make progress in this area by developing a bespoke equality diversity and inclusion tool. Our plan is to engage a wider group of project managers to evolve it further to ensure that it genuinely meets their needs and enables better more informed decisions to be made.

Nicky Ensert, Highways England

We were commissioned to design and develop a tool that could help Highways England to target resources at projects that are most likely to deliver equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) benefits to road users and communities adjacent to the SRN.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion sifting Tool (EDIT) helps project managers, designers and lead engineers to make evidence-based and informed decisions about their scheme, supporting the appropriate consideration of EDI issues in project design and development.

EDIT uses scheme information, social and demographic data, current research, and the wider evidence base to identify which schemes are likely to have the greatest equality impact and therefore which schemes to target with additional energy and resources.

The tool includes two stages:

  • A demographic equality ‘hotspot’ mapping tool, which allows users to identify where equality challenges are most likely to arise.
  • An MS Excel-based data capture and decision matrix.

EDIT provides the user with a detailed scheme appraisal, enabling them to identify development and design features that are relevant to EDI. Based on the user’s own knowledge, the answers build a picture of the extent to which EDI is relevant to the scheme. Each answer is used to build up an overall EDIT score for the scheme.

EDIT offers users a dynamic appraisal process and scoring system: depending on the scheme type and stage, the tool adapts around the user’s answers, and the scoring automatically updates and summarises throughout the process. The focused assessment matrix ensures unanswered questions do not affect the final EDIT score.

The tool also provides integrated advice, using symbols to provide the user with additional information through pop-up guidance, and signposting for what to do and where to go next.

  • Easy to use and self-contained, requiring only knowledge of the scheme
  • Can be applied to all Highways England areas and directorates
  • Enables quick decision making with consideration of EDIT issues
  • Adds real value for Highways England schemes
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