A NEW survey is to examine the lives of 17,000 ethnic and religious minority people to highlight the issues they have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) will document the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on people from ethnic and religious minority groups in Britain.

It will ask participants about employment, finance, education, economic wellbeing, health, housing, policing, identity and experiences of discrimination and racism.

The research, which its founders say is the “first and largest survey of its kind”, is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

It is led by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) with researchers from the Universities of Sussex, St Andrews and Manchester, and will run until May 2021.

Dr Laia Becares, a senior lecturer in Applied Social Science at the University of Sussex, is the project’s main researcher and will shape the content of the questionnaire.

Dr Becares said: “EVENS will capture key information to help us understand the extent of the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the lives of ethnic and religious minority people and their families.

“A key part of the survey asks about experiences of racism and discrimination that people may have experienced over time, to document how lifetime experiences of discrimination and oppression lead to the stark ethnic inequalities we see in the UK.

“We will also ask questions on sexual orientation and gender identity, which will help us to understand how different social identities that people have intersect to pattern the differential impact of the pandemic across groups in society.”

The survey has been translated into 13 languages and will focus on a full range of ethnic and religious minority groups, including Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people and Jewish communities, across England, Scotland and Wales.

Several organisations will help to recruit participants, including the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Migrants’ Rights Network, and the Race Equality Foundation.

Professor James Nazroo, Deputy Director of CoDE, said: “This ground-breaking survey will help shift the narrative on ethnic and religious inequalities in modern Britain.

“We will be asking how your life has been affected by the pandemic. We will ask about work and health, caring and housing.

“We will ask about experiences of racism and discrimination. There is an urgency as practitioners and policymakers are crying out for robust and comprehensive scientific evidence that they can use to understand and address the inequalities faced by ethnic and religious minority people.

“EVENS will provide that evidence.”