"There are no data like this" - Dr Nissa Finney explains how EVENS differs from surveys of the past


Before you begin... 

  • This survey will do what the Sewell report failed to do - represent your experience for what it truly is.
  • OBV's work with EVENS necessitates our full participation. We want you to speak up and spread the word about the covid-19 survey.
  • Whatever it may be, your experience and the experiences of what are ethnic and religious minorities in the UK deserve to be seen, heard and respected; they cannot be denied.
  • Tell your truth and take the survey today.


With the countdown well and truly on till the close of the Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS), Dr Nissa Finney has been discussing the significance of what could prove to be the largest survey of its type.

The survey hopes to document how covid-19 and the lockdowns and affected the public. In doing so, the survey's collaborating partners are aiming to drive evidence-based policy and advocacy. 

The survey will provide the most comprehensive breakdown yet on what has been a turbulent 16 months. Put simply, it is looking to change the data landscape on 'ethnic and religious minorities'. 

Dr Nissa Finney, who leads the survey, was part of an expert panel with the Muslim Council of Britain. It included the Council's Secretary-General, Zara Mohammed, as well as Dr Wajid Akhter. 

Following on from Dr Wajid's explanation on the importance of Muslim representation in the survey, Dr Finney broke down how the study looks to differentiate itself from what would appear to be similar exercises in the past.

When I’ve been talking to people about the survey I’ve had a feeling amongst community groups and partners - of which Muslim Council of Britain is one - that people think this is a good idea. Yeah, we want to document these experiences; we want our voice to be heard, but will this survey do anything?

Dr Nissa Finney explains why EVENS isn’t just any other survey

“There are no data like this,” she said.

“There are no data that comprehensively capture ethnic and religious minorities in the country.

"You either have data that give you big populations like the census (which you’ll have filled this year) or you have survey data that are rich in the type of questions that are asked but are really poor in capturing Muslim experience and other ethnic minority experience.

“We don’t have those two together – the sample and the detail. This is what the EVENSurvey can do”

She adds that the partnerships and collaborations with groups like OBV, Ubele Initiative and the British Council of Muslims will be key in putting the survey’s findings into action.

“Our collaboration doesn’t stop at the end of June when the survey closes, it goes on.”

“We’ll work with our partners to say what analyses are needed, what data are needed, we have this rich source (of data) how do you need this to be developed to address the issues of concern to you. To get the message across to policymakers, to other stakeholders to keep this on the agenda so action is taken”

Listen to Dr Finney herself, and make sure to tell your truth by taking the survey.

This survey will do what the Sewell report failed to and that's represent your experience for what it truly is, but, the only person who can give an account of that experience is you.

After you’ve finished, you’ll receive a £10 gift voucher as a thank you. Make sure to tell a friend, family and work colleagues about the most ambitious project of its kind.

Want to learn even more about the survey? We have you covered. Here's your quick guide to the OBV, EVENS Covid-19 Survey - READ