For the past several months, the Insights Association’s IDEA Council has been actively engaged with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Technical Working Group to update race and ethnicity standards. Today's OMB approach for asking race and ethnicity on forms, questionnaires, surveys, etc. was established in 1997 as the Statistical Policy Directive No. 15: Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (SPD 15). The OMB and other government agencies, as well as the IDEA Council, all recognize today's SPD 15 approach is outdated and needs revising.
In November 2022, the IDEA Council was selected to present a summary of its Phase 1 research findings on race and ethnicity to the OMB's Technical Working group during a public Listening session. Most recently, the IDEA Council submitted feedback to the OMB's Federal Register Notice on their proposed race and ethnicity question format recommendations, many of which aligned with IDEA Council research outcomes. In addition, members of the IDEA Council attend OMB-led working and public listening sessions and continue to share IDEA Council research findings and industry implications with the Technical Working Group to influence the modernization of SPD 15.
“Having a seat at the table, being welcomed to contribute, and a forum to share our research with officials who can implement such broad-sweeping and transformative change is truly exhilarating,” commented Tchicaya Ellis Robertson, Ph.D., Senior Principal, Thought Leadership at Accenture and IDEA Council Chair. “Knowing our work is valued and appreciated to such a degree has energized our research efforts, which continue to expand into such areas of sexual identity, gender, and accessibility.”
Melanie Courtright, CEO of the Insights Association, added, “Expanding our work with departments and agencies across the U.S. federal government, including the OMB and the Census Bureau, bolsters IA’s ability to protect and evolve the insights profession. This is important work that stands to have implications for years to come. We appreciate the access we’ve had to personally connect with decision-makers and have been impressed with their desire to study and consider our research.”