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Community of practice

A supportive community of M&E experts and researchers
working on anti-trafficking programs and policies.


The ILO ethical guidelines for research on forced labour and child labour offer practical considerations regarding the safety and well-being of both participants and researchers, as well as the production and use of findings beneficial to affected communities. These guidelines are developed through a consultative process involving global and local experts and researchers with extensive knowledge of child labour and forced labour across different contexts. Designed for use by researchers and organisations, including national statistical offices, these guidelines aim to facilitate the development and implementation of studies and data collection instruments that adhere to ethical principles and are appropriate for gathering information about exploited individuals and children in specific forms of forced labour.

Often, when we encounter null (ineffective) or negative (harmful) results in monitoring and evaluation (M&E), there is a tendency to disregard or explain away these unexpected results. We may attribute the findings to weak research design or poor implementation, we may attempt to “fish” or “p-hack” for more significant results by conducting spurious subgroup analyses. In many cases, we simply abandon the project and the findings are never shared. When such practices are multiplied across the anti-slavery movement, this leads to a skewed evidence base, ill-informed ‘best practices’, hampers progress in developing more effective programs and policies, and results in wasted resources towards ineffective interventions.

The Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is the first global data hub on human trafficking, publishing harmonised data contributed by counter-trafficking organisations from around the world. During this webinar, Stine Laursen and Lorraine Wong from IOM’s CTDC team shared lessons learned from the process of collecting and harmonising data and described the technology that has been used for safeguarding and ethically making such sensitive data available to the public.

The Global Slavery Index (GSI), produced by Walk Free, offers national estimates of modern slavery across 160 countries. These estimates draw on thousands of interviews with survivors collected through nationally representative household surveys across 75 countries, supplemented by Walk Free’s assessment of national-level vulnerability. The latest 2023 report highlights the role played by G20 nations in fuelling forced labour within global supply chains, including state-imposed forced labour. The G20 accounts for over half of all people living in modern slavery and imports US$468 billion of at-risk products annually.

In this webinar, Elly Williams from Walk Free highlighted emerging trends from the 2023 GSI, discussed methodological changes between the 2023 and 2018 editions, and shared lessons learned for researchers aiming to measure the prevalence of modern slavery and assess government responses.

Local non-profit and community-based organisations and survivors are essential in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery. Yet, they are often left out of input into higher-level monitoring and evaluation structures that dictate the types of indicators and donor reporting formats used to track programs’ progress and successes. Winrock International, through its USAID Asia Counter-Trafficking in Persons Project, has been working with local organisation throughout Asia to improve their service delivery, research, and measurement, and help CSOs move beyond measurement to learning and adaptation.

Michaelle Tauson, a counter-trafficking research and M&E expert, and her colleagues John Luke Chua (USAID Asia CTIP) and Rakhat Bolotov (Safe Migration in Central Asia/SMICA), joined the METIP community on June 14th to share key features of the Counter-Trafficking Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit and how they partnered with the Rights Lab to engage local CSOs to improve the toolkit.

While there is broad consensus within the anti-trafficking field that the inclusion of marginalised groups is crucial to effective programming and research – good intentions are often not reflected in practice.

This Call to Action summarises the main findings that came out of a series of discussions held during our 2022 Annual Conference, calling on readers to reflect on inclusivity within their organisational policies, procedures, research design, data collection and monitoring methods.

On the 12th of July 2022, the METIP community gathered once again for one of our quarterly meetings, to discuss a cutting-edge topic which is currently marking its way into discussions on anti trafficking research and monitoring: how to achieve equitable and inclusive monitoring, evaluation, and research.

We have extracted four main lessons from this event, which you can find in the document attached. These relate to four main topics: ways of capturing missing voices in anti trafficking programming and research, good practices of collaborating with survivors, how to use participatory methods involving survivors and community members, and how to create a more equitable distribution of research grants in the anti trafficking sector.

A community of practice in the anti-trafficking sector

The Monitoring & Evaluation of Trafficking in Persons (METIP) community of practice is a group of monitoring, evaluation and research experts who work in the anti-trafficking sector globally. METIP is a supportive environment where members can network and share best practices, brainstorm ideas and strategies, and problem solve. 

The overall purpose of the group is to improve monitoring, evaluation, research and learning, and help increase the body and quality of evidence underpinning counter trafficking programs and policies.



We are always looking to connect with more professionals working in our field.
If you believe you belong in METIP please apply to join.