The participation of modern slavery survivors in program development, implementation, and evaluation is crucial to anti-slavery efforts. Working with survivor activists to shape programs based on their lived experience results in developing and implementing interventions that reflect survivor needs and are based on a detailed understanding of the factors that create vulnerability, thus enhancing their effectiveness. The same can be said of evaluations of modern slavery programming; the use of participatory approaches, where survivors determine measures of success and are included in or lead the research, allows for unique insights into effectiveness, ultimately leading to more robust interventions.

Yet, programs and evaluations are largely designed and undertaken without the participation of those directly impacted by them. Of the 262 evaluations housed in the Promising Practices Database (the Database), only four per cent (n=10) capture survivor inclusion in program design (n=5), implementation (n=9), or evaluation design (n=2). In this context, survivor inclusion refers to “the development or delivery of a process or project that is being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ survivors rather than being ‘for’ or ‘about’ them.”1 Given the limited data, this policy paper sets out our initial observations on which practices work and which look promising for including survivors in program and evaluation design.

What works: Lessons learned in survivor inclusion - Walk Free, June 2022 DOWNLOAD

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