In the Modern Slavery PEC, one of our key principles for research is equity. On one hand, this means working to address the structural inequalities that are underpinning modern slavery and make people vulnerable to exploitation. On the other hand, we want to make research itself more equitable.
This includes ensuring that the projects we’re funding are carried out in an equitable manner, engaging with diverse groups of people, equitably at all stages of the research process, and including a wide range of academics to carry out our research, such as those from diverse backgrounds and early career researchers.
But another key element of this is ensuring that we have diverse voices feeding into the process of developing ideas for research before we even commission a research funding call.
Last year we carried out a wide-ranging stakeholder consultation. Within the consultation we spoke to a range of groups and individuals, which helped us develop our strategy. The strategy sets out the Modern Slavery PEC’s priority areas for research, and the different ways we fund research. By having such a range of voices feeding into our consultation, we’re able to work towards creating a cutting-edge research agenda that can be meaningful and impactful.
The consultation was a starting point and we remain committed to a stakeholder-informed approach to the PEC’s research priorities. This is why we are piloting a new initiative: the research ideas form. This is a place, where anyone interested in the modern slavery issues can share their ideas for the research that they would like us to commission.
We particularly welcome ideas from people with lived experience of modern slavery and communities at particular risk of exploitation. We also welcome ideas from users of research, for example policymakers, businesses or those delivering frontline services.
This could range from a policymaker who has noticed a lack of evidence on a certain topic, to a person with lived experience who feels that a particular area needs more research, to a community group needing more evidence on what works best to address and prevent the particular issue they’re working on. To collect these thoughts, we have created and launched the ‘Modern Slavery PEC Research Ideas Form’, a form open to any party interested in the modern slavery space to share their ideas for the research that they’d like us to commission.
We hope that the Modern Slavery PEC Research Ideas Form will enable us to directly connect with the wider community of people interested in modern slavery at the start of our process, and by doing so we can enhance all of our guiding principles for research, not just equity. For example, effectiveness; by understanding what policymakers need from our research, we’ll be able to reach them with them with evidence they need more effectively.
We hope the form will also enhance survivor involvement, and we encourage those with lived experience of modern slavery and organisations working with survivors and people at risk of exploitation to use this form. The form could be used to spark discussions within these communities, and we hope will allow us to connect to these groups more directly. We are open to listening!
The form is open to all with an interest in modern slavery and we look forward to receiving your ideas for new modern slavery research. During this pilot period we also welcome any questions and feedback about the form itself. You can get in touch with us at email@example.com.