Inquiry launches listening project pilot

The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry has launched the first phase of its listening project pilot activities.

The Inquiry is engaging with representative organisations to ensure the listening project is inclusive and accessible when it begins gathering the experiences of people across Scotland, which is intended to begin in Spring 2023.  

The listening project will allow organisations and individuals, including those from seldom heard groups, to share their experiences of the pandemic and say which lessons they believe should be learned from the devolved strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisations representing relatives of people who died during the pandemic and groups who were particularly impacted by the lockdown and other restrictions are among those invited to take part in the pilot. We recognise that the knowledge and valuable input of people who have been bereaved, or had/have relatives in care, as well as third sector, civil society and community groups is needed to achieve this, and the Inquiry appreciates their support. 

Pilot activities will be carried out in two phases, with the first running until early December and the second until February 2023. Thereafter, individuals and organisations across Scotland will be invited to share their experiences of the pandemic.

The aim of the first stage of the pilot is to learn from representative organisations so the Inquiry can improve the accessibility and appropriateness of the proposed listening project design. The Inquiry wants to ensure that everyone, including vulnerable, marginalised and seldom-heard communities, are empowered and enabled to share their experiences.

Lord Brailsford, Chair of the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry, said: “Everyone in Scotland has been affected by the pandemic; it is therefore essential that everyone is given the opportunity to share their experiences and to tell us what lessons they believe should be learned. The experiences gathered through our listening project will help guide our investigations and inform our reports.

“We are very much looking forward to launching the listening project next year following our initial pilot activities. By working with organisations representing those that were most severely affected, our aim is to ensure a human rights-based approach is embedded into our engagement activities and that the communications channels we use are appropriate and accessible to all.”