Expert Group Meetings: Evaluation of Anti-Trafficking Responses

Event Date: 
Monday, July 4, 2016
Location: 
Vienna

Expert Group Meetings: Evaluation of Anti-Trafficking Responses

Collectively, the 17 organisations that are members of ICAT bring together a broad expertise and complementary mandates relating to trafficking in persons. This complementarity supports, in theory, a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to combatting trafficking in persons – but why then, in practice, is there no commonly agreed evidence base of effective anti-trafficking interventions? The solution, in large part, may lie in capturing the accumulated knowledge of these many organizations and developing a shared approach to monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL).

Policy makers, researchers, practitioners and donors working to respond to human trafficking have long recognized the need for more systematic evaluation of the multiple and evolving counter-trafficking efforts made to date. In response to this need, ICAT initiated discussion and consultation to develop a ”roadmap” towards improving the evaluation of counter-trafficking responses. A key theme of the resulting discussion paper (to be launched in this page in August 2016) is that limitations in the design of counter-trafficking responses have often diminished the potential of evaluations to identify impact and add value. While there is a significant body of accumulated knowledge, programme designs to date have frequently failed to consistently reflect either this knowledge or the findings and recommendations of previous evaluations. Improvement in the design of counter-trafficking programmes is thus a critical prerequisite for improved performance, impact and evaluation of these programmes.

Two expert consultations were hosted in Vienna on 9-10 December 2015 and 4-5 July 2016, to conduct discussions towards jointly elaborating a discussion paper on the issue of evaluating anti-trafficking responses; and a way forward, or a “road map”, towards improving the evaluation of anti-trafficking interventions, respectively. These meetings convened anti-trafficking experts and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) specialists to discuss and refine the roadmap in a consultative process. The process has informed the development of the discussion paper and related instruments that are currently being finalised and will be progressively launched in 2016.