In August 2012, the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs established the independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland. As part of its work, the Advisory Group made recommendations regarding any further research that would be needed to guide future development of policy. They identified gaps where evidence was lacking and highlighted a need for qualitative research that explores if and how sectarianism affects particular communities, and how it may form part of everyday experience.

The Scottish Government then commissioned a number of research projects. The largest of these included a study of public processions, a nationally representative study of public attitudes and experiences of sectarianism, and the current project about community experiences of sectarianism. There were also other projects, such as an analysis of information from the 2011 Census and new questions added to the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey and the Scottish Household Survey.

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