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Modern Slavery Core Outcome Set

Research project identifying the core outcomes to be considered for survivors of modern slavery.

Survivors of modern slavery experience serious and long-term health, social, and economic consequences. Yet, we know much less about what works to help survivors recover from their experiences.

To understand what works to support the recovery of survivors of modern slavery, what recovery means and how it should be measured needs to be addressed. This means establishing what are the core outcomes and indicators of recovery. Researchers and professionals can then agree to collect data on the same outcomes and indicators to compare the effectiveness of different programmes and services.

A research team from Kings College London, University Nottingham and University East London, in collaboration with Helen Bamber Foundation, and Survivor Alliance will produce a Modern Slavery Core Outcome Set (MS-COS) to address this issue and use as a framework for further evaluative research and practice.

The MS-COS will establish a minimum standard set of outcomes that should be measured and reported when assessing the effectiveness of programmes that support survivors. Items included in the Modern Slavery Core Outcome Set will have been identified as important to the recovery of survivors of modern slavery and prioritised for inclusion by survivors, service providers, researchers, and policymakers.

This project builds on methods developed by the COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) initiative, which brings together people interested in the development and application of agreed and standardised sets of outcomes, known as "core outcome sets".

The project is divided into two phases. The first one is to identify possible recovery outcomes and indicators. This will be done by examining previous research, interviewing survivors of modern slavery who have been under-represented in previous research, and a consultation workshop with survivors, professionals, researchers, and policymakers.

The second phase will involve prioritising outcomes and indicators. Through the use of panels made up of survivors, professionals and policymakers, and academic researchers, the project will ask people to rate the importance of different outcomes and indicators, followed by a consensus workshop to discuss, vote, and agree on the final Modern Slavery Core Outcome Set.

Alongside this, the team will establish a new group called a “community of practice”, which will work both to embed the Core Outcome Set into research and practice, more broadly, develop evidence-based practice within this space.

This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Modern Slavery PEC call for research on Victim and Survivor Recovery

Project team: Dr Sian Oram and Sohail Jannesari, King’s College London, Dr Emma Howarth, University of East London, Dr Nicola Wright, University of Nottingham, Prof Cornelius Katona and Rachel Witkin, Helen Bamber Foundation, Minh Dang and Bee Damara, Survivor Alliance.