The research uses multiple methods for data collection:
- International literature review: a review of academic and policy documents on the use of social procurement for equality in employment is being prepared. It will highlight the different legal and policy frameworks in England, Wales and Scotland, as well as covering policy and practice in a range of other countries.
- Expert interviews: interviews will be held with key experts to provide contextual information on the practice of social procurement, to include representatives of commissioning and contracting organisations and procurement, equality, and civil society bodies. Additionally interviews will be held with those involved in procurement frameworks.
- Commissioner survey: to establish the extent of the inclusion of employment equality objectives within public procurement, as well as the motivations, processes and outcomes of using social procurement, a survey of local authorities, housing associations and higher education institutions in England, Wales and Scotland will be carried out.
- Case studies: evidence of good practice in the adoption of employment equality in public procurement will be explored through several case studies. These will include the perspectives of actors involved throughout the procurement lifecycle – from commissioning, through the stages of the procurement process, to the monitoring of contract requirements. The case studies will examine outcomes, by seeking data on monitoring and measurement from organisations, and views from representatives of beneficiaries, such as trade unions and civil society groups.