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Survivor engagement in international policy and programming

Project examining survivor engagement in international development programmes and policies to address modern slavery.

There is increasing awareness of the need to better incorporate the perspectives of people with lived experiences of modern slavery into research, policy, and programming.

In its recent response to the review by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) into the UK’s approach to tackling modern slavery through the aid programme, the UK Government has committed to improving “the integration of survivor voices into the design, implementation and review of the HMG modern slavery portfolio”.

As part of that commitment, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has commissioned the Modern Slavery PEC to assess the nature and effectiveness of survivor engagement in international policy and programming on modern slavery.

The research team, led by the Centre for the Study of International Slavery at the University of Liverpool, will gather evidence on existing promising practice of involving of people with lived experience in international policy and programming, explore the understanding and perspectives of a variety of stakeholders in relation to it.

The research will employ mixed methods and apply an ethical lens to evidence-gathering, drawing from a range of countries and regions, co-designed and co-produced with a team of survivor leaders/experts who will be engaged as consultants on the project.

The work will produce an evidence review of good practice in involvement of people with lived experience. The team will also carry out interviews and focus groups with survivor leaders, advocates and practitioners working on policy and programming in the modern slavery sector.

The project will aim to explain the benefits of different types and levels of survivor engagement in international policy making and programming translate these into evidence-based recommendations for policymakers.

The outputs will include policy recommendations about how the UK Government could integrate ethical and effective survivor engagement in modern slavery policies and programming, alongside focused recommendations for further research.

Lead researcher: Dr Wendy Asquith, University of Liverpool.

This project is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Global call for evidence

The project team wants to hear from people around the world to build evidence on what works well in engaging people with lived experience in policy and programming to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery.

We are especially interested to hear about examples of the active involvement of survivors in policy or programme design, implementation or evaluation. In addition, we are interested to hear about any ethical frameworks, principles or guidelines that have been developed to support good practice in survivor engagement, inclusion, involvement, empowerment and leadership. We are also interested to hear about the impacts of this work: the positive or negative outcomes of such engagement for survivors themselves, their communities as well as other project partners. Examples of work from any sector and type of organisations are welcome.

Please read the document below for more information and guidance.