Feeling good about feeling bad… A Global Review of Evaluation in Anti-Trafficking Initiatives

This research explores and assesses the evaluation of anti-trafficking policies and programmes worldwide, including three international, two regional and nine national anti-trafficking initiatives. It highlights common themes and emerging patterns between a range of approaches to evaluation in this sector and finds overwhelmingly that anti-trafficking initiatives are not being sufficiently evaluated, impeding the effectiveness of anti-trafficking responses and limiting progress in combating trafficking. Urgent action in the form of adequate evaluation systems is imperative to ensure anti-trafficking programmes are effectively targeted and delivered.

Download PDF: http://www.gaatw.org/publications/GAATW_Global_Review.FeelingGood.AboutFeelingBad.pdf

Foreword:

To a large extent, anti-trafficking efforts operate without a sufficient evidence-base. Ten years after the unveiling of the United Nation Human Trafficking Protocol there is still a dearth of reliable information on the scope and nature of this highly globalized crime and horrendous violation of human rights. Information on its dynamics, on its interrelations with other crimes, on the various forms, on the trafficking routes, on the modi operandi of the traffickers as well as on how trafficking in persons affects our societies and hampers good governance, is still limited.

Although much money has been spent: hundreds of projects at national, regional and international levels have been carried out and recommendations formulated; identification-checklists and standards for victim protection have been developed; training material has been produced and national plans of action crafted; countless conferences, symposia, and meetings have been organized; a continuing stream of commentators, researchers and analysts have informed on the intricacy of the problem; and, many policy tools have been applied – surprisingly little is known about the impact of anti-trafficking responses, efforts, measures and activities.

Data collection in the field of human trafficking must be improved. One of the most important requirements is to enable (and to fund) the production of qualitative knowledge that is as objective as possible. Apart from more specific research into the clandestine side of the crime, evaluation of all anti-trafficking responses, measures and actions must be undertaken.

So far, evaluation has been little more than an afterthought and at best conceived as self-edited reporting on project outcomes by governmental and non-governmental actors alike. This is not enough. What is needed, is independent external objective evaluation; evaluation that is based on professional methodology and standards, informed by trafficking expertise.

Evaluation is the single most critical addition necessary to strengthen anti-trafficking work; resources for evaluation must be an integral part of all anti-trafficking projects.

This report highlights the importance of comprehensive evaluation, and throws new light one valuation as an essential means of preventing misdevelopment and – eventually – as an incentive to avoid pouring good money after bad.

~Helga Konrad
Independent Consultant on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

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