Ensuring the global evidence base is informed by lived experience

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Promoting Opportunities Within Evidence & Research (POWER)

  • Lived Experience Leadership
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    Practitioners are recognizing that lived experience expertise is vital in increasing the efforts of addressing the issue of modern slavery. This is as true on the level of research and evidence as it is on the level of intervention. Taking a participatory approach to research, incorporating the views and priorities of people with lived experience even at the earliest stages, ensures that the resulting findings, best practices, program recommendations, and other pieces of the “evidence base” actually fit the reality of modern slavery. Unfortunately, the field has, to date, lacked a real pathway to increasing the level of participation of people with lived experience in research and evidence.

    GFEMS and Survivor Alliance have launched a two-pronged effort to increase participation of people with lived experience in global Modern Slavery research. In one stream of activity, we will hold lived experience working groups and a support Survivor Alliance’s World Congress to advance collaborative survivor-led review and discussions of key issue areas; in the other, we will engage lived experience advisors and research institutions to further develop and operationalize standard operating procedures for survivor-informed research.

    Survivor World Congress 2024

    Though high-level multi-stakeholder convenings occur every year, few have been or are led primarily by survivors of modern slavery. When Survivor Alliance’s first World Congress took place in July 2021, it was the first global sector gathering at which survivors represented the majority of both participants and speakers, and set the agenda. Through this project, GFEMS support Survivor Alliance’s 2024 World Congress, and we’ll work together and with the event’s attendees to build up the global evidence base on trafficking from the perspective of survivor leaders.

    Tools for Lived Experience Led Research

    Alongside the events at the World Congress, GFEMS is leveraging its Funders Toolkit for Lived Experience Inclusion in Modern Slavery Research to enhance modern slavery research as a discipline. We are establishing a consultant corps of people with lived experience who have the capacity to work on different aspects of research projects. Alongside the consultant corps, we will engage organizations producing modern slavery related research to bolster their knowledge and efforts in working meaningfully with people with lived experience. Then, as partnerships are developed with research institutions, we will connect consultant corps members with institutions who can use their efforts. A secondary goal is to share the consultant database widely so that practitioners can also engage consultants in the future.

    Funders Toolkit for Lived Experience Inclusion in Modern Slavery Research (v1.0)

    This guidance document is for funders and organizations that aim to improve their inclusion of people with lived experiences of modern slavery in their research, and monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning work. This includes those who currently or strive to provide funding directly to researchers, empower people with lived experience in the research process, or better support person with lived experience engagement in the movement. We’re improving this resource through the POWER project–check back for updates


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