Free the Slaves has articulated its causal model, which postulates that slavery emanates from vulnerabilities at the community level, including lack of awareness of rights and risks, weak or absent community organizations, household insecurity, weak legal protections, and survivor vulnerability. Free the Slaves' slavery eradication model consists of building community assets that offset vulnerabilities through education, community mobilization, increasing household security, strengthening legal protections, and survivor services. Free the Slaves has defined indicators for every variable in the model.
Free the Slaves will pilot, validate, replicate, and disseminate the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools needed to measure both slavery and the results of anti-slavery interventions. Specifically, Free the Slaves will develop and diffuse six M&E instruments:
1. A Slavery Prevalence Survey/Socio-economic Status (SPS/SES) Survey that measures changes in slavery and slavery correlates in a population over time.
2. A Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) Survey to assess changes in protective behaviors.
3. An Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) to assess whether local organizations have the skills and systems to enhance community resistance to slavery.
4. A Community Maturity Scale to measure changes in community collective resistance to slavery.
5. A Policy Tracker to assess whether desired changes in public policy have been realized.
6. A Survivor Registry to track the progress of individual slavery survivors.
Achieving this commitment requires in-depth knowledge of slavery and anti-slavery interventions plus M&E expertise. Free the Slaves is widely regarded as a leader in developing the global understanding of slavery. The organization has an M&E Department staffed by highly skilled experts, as well as other staff members with relevant expertise.
The result of having these M&E instruments in place and utilized by the sector will be to fill the gap in evidence and the means for testing the impact of anti-slavery interventions, providing a baseline of critical information that will lead to more and better anti-slavery interventions.
Free the Slaves has a rigorous and well developed planning process. The work plans stipulate objectives, activities, benchmarks, and data collection methods. The organization's 2015 fiscal year begins January 1, and fully developed work plans will be available subsequent to the mid-December 2014 meeting of the Board of Directors. The following are likely deliverables that will be confirmed during the work plan development for 2015 and 2016.
Apply SPS/SES Survey in one additional country (currently being piloted in DR Congo).
Apply KAP Survey in at least one additional country (pilot test in 2014).
Apply Community Maturity Scale to a sample of communities across multiple countries.
Apply SPS/SES Survey in one additional country.
Apply KAP Survey in at least one additional country.
Apply Community Maturity Scale in a sample of communities across multiple countries.
Apply Policy Tracker in three countries.
Apply Survivor Registry in two countries.
Disseminate M&E methods, tools, results, and lessons learned.
Effective change movements depend at least in part on mobilizing evidence that describes the problem and demonstrates the feasibility of bringing solutions to bear. The anti-slavery movement is badly inhibited by the paucity of primary data on the magnitude and dynamics of slavery, especially at the local level at which most programs and projects operate. Typically, programs operate without the benefit of baseline data as to the prevalence of slavery, the types of slavery, and the socio-economic correlates of slavery. While there are high level estimates of the prevalence of national, regional, and global slavery, these are generally not useful as guides to programming and do not provide time series data using a consistent methodology over time. This makes it impossible to determine if slavery in a locale (a province, state, or district) is growing, diminishing, or remaining unchanged.
A closely allied problem is the lack of evidence concerning effective approaches to ending slavery, especially evidence derived from clearly articulated causal models. It's very difficult to advance the state-of-the-art, define best practices, or evolve a shared body of knowledge without reasonably rigorous tests of the efficacy of anti-slavery interventions.
Any social change movement needs a shared toolbox of tested interventions in order to advance and evolve. This, in turn, depends on a common definition of the interventions and an agreed upon set of indicators for measuring their effects. The testing of interventions must adhere to these established principles and methods of program evaluation and the anti-slavery sector would be greatly aided by widely applicable monitoring and evaluation tools for measuring key indicators.
The anti-slavery movement has not yet marshaled adequate evidence, or even the evidence gathering tools, to catalyze the change process. Free the Slaves commits to addressing this critical gap.