Across our eight hotspots, the Freedom Fund is regularly monitoring and reporting on our progress towards tackling modern slavery. Our global metrics are available on our website and track progress on several levels, including the number of at-risk individuals reached, the scale of program activities and the resulting outcomes.
Behind the scenes, producing this data requires a huge amount of work. Notes are taken by field workers while they are out visiting vulnerable households and individuals, and records are made during community group meetings. Data then makes its way back to hub offices where it is subjected to multiple rounds of review. All of this information flow is summarised in the step-by-step diagram below, and ultimately enables us to monitor the impact being achieved through our program investment.
Yet for field workers, it can be a real challenge to balance the provision of timely, quality care to vulnerable individuals and marginalised groups with the submission of detailed data for management reporting. In the areas where we work, resources can be scarce and the workload heavy. Our monitoring system has been designed with this in mind – it aims to strike a balance between producing reliable data to track the impact of each organisation’s work, and not being overly burdensome so as to avoid taking away from the real work on the ground.
We have now completed our first round of independent reviews of the field-level data that feeds into our impact reporting. The review returned positive results, and variances in the data produced were generally low. We were especially impressed by the way our monitoring system has been adopted by partners, and how they’ve developed their own supporting processes that enable them to provide data whilst not compromising the work on the ground. While some areas for improvement have been flagged and will be built into future work plans, the review has shown that the production of standardised, quality data collection among frontline anti-slavery organisations is possible.