Mr. Mark Forstrom
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
U.S. Department of State
An Employee-Owned Research Corporation
1600 Research Boulevard
Rockville, Maryland 20850-3129
This document is the final report for the cooperative agreement between the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons (J/TIP) and Westat (contract #S-SGTIP-11-CA-0026). The project had several goals: (1) evaluate Vital Voices Global Partnership’s (Vital Voices) J/TIP-funded Project: Improving Cameroon’s Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking, (2) conduct baseline assessment of the U.S. – Ghana Child Protection Compact Partnership, (3) develop a performance measurement toolkit, and (4) provide technical assistance on monitoring and evaluation to the Coalition to Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), a J/TIP grantee. The following sections describe the background of each project task, the activities, findings, and lessons learned.
2. Evaluation of the Vital Voices J/TIP-funded project: Improving Cameroon’s Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking
J/TIP awarded a grant to Westat in September 2011 to provide evaluation services that included conducting an outcome evaluation of Vital Voices’ J/TIP-funded project to strengthen the response to human trafficking. The following paragraphs briefly describe the Vital Voices project. Section 2.2 describes the evaluation activities, followed by sections on the findings, and lessons learned.
In October 2010, J/TIP awarded a two-year cooperative agreement to Vital Voices and its partners, Nku”mu Fed Fed (NFF) and AEquitas, to support the development of training materials to increase collaboration among investigators, prosecutors, and victim advocates who deal with trafficking victims and traffickers. The grant also provided information on how to work within existing legislative frameworks in Cameroon. J/TIP subsequently awarded another grant to Vital Voices in 2012 to again partner with NFF, AEquitas, Cross Sector Solutions, and STRATEGIES! This second grant was a continuation of the earlier work developing materials, along with conducting regional training institutes, launching anti-trafficking task forces, and supporting the development of a design for a data collection system in Cameroon.
The Vital Voices project had two objectives:
- Enhance the capacity of criminal justice practitioners, government officials, and civil society to effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking cases; and
- Enhance the capacity among government ministries, justice sector officials, and civil society to help combat human trafficking.
Activities for the first objective included refining the curriculum for the Institutes, conducting three regional institutes, and providing case consultation and technical advice to the participants. For the second objective, activities involved creating three regional task forces, developing standard operating procedures for the task forces, and developing a unified system for data collection and reporting.
2.2 Evaluation Activities
Westat’s evaluation consisted of developing evaluation questions in collaboration with Vital Voices’ project staff (see Exhibit 1). The data collection tasks included conducting key informant interviews with U.S. project staff, Cameroonian faculty, participants, and other Institute attendees, a review of documents from Vital Voices and AEquatas as well as a review of institute participant’s individual action plans and two site visits: one to observe Institutes and to conduct individual interviews with participants. During the Institutes, the Westat researcher administered pre- and post-Institute surveys of participant knowledge of human trafficking and assessment of the Institutes. Exhibit 1 shows the evaluation questions that guided Westat’s work.
|(1) What experience and knowledge do the Institute participants have before attending the training?
(2) To what extent do the participants report increased knowledge, understanding and ability to action related to human trafficking at the end of the Institute training?
(3) How do participants perceive the quality of the Institute and what are the reported effective components?
(4) In what ways do participants believe the Institutes can be improved?
(5) To what extent has the Vital Voices training created operational anti-trafficking task forces, and what has been accomplished through the task forces?
(6) In what ways has Vital Voices influenced development and passage of comprehensive trafficking in persons (TIP) legislation in Cameroon?
Knowledge of human trafficking and services before and after participating in the training Institutes. Evaluation question #1 focused on Institute participants’ prior knowledge of human trafficking, and question #2 focused on their post-training knowledge. Exhibit #2 presents the findings for the first two evaluation questions.
|Baseline Assessment||Post-Training Assessment|
|Approximately half of the participants had prior experience with a trafficking case. This experience included interviewing or assisting a victim or prosecuting a case.||
|At the start of the training a greater percentage of judges and prosecutors than law enforcement officials felt “very knowledgeable” investigating and prosecuting a case.||After the training, 95 percent of the participants reported a “moderate” or “large improvement” in their knowledge of most aspects of investigations and prosecutions.|
|Approximately two-thirds of the participants “agreed” or “strongly agreed” to understanding victim dynamics, elements of human trafficking law, and the difference between cultural practices and human trafficking||After the training 90 percent of the participants reported either a “moderate” or “large” improvement in their knowledge of victim dynamics, elements of the human trafficking law, and the difference between cultural practices and human trafficking.|
|Participants reported the most knowledge about medical services and how to access psychological counseling/therapy. Participants had less knowledge of shelters/housing, employment, and vocational opportunities.||After the training between 82 percent and 90 percent reported either a “moderate” or “large improvement” in their knowledge of services for victims, such as shelters/housing and employment and vocational opportunities.|
|More than half of the participants reported feeling “well prepared” or “very well prepared” to take action, including recognizing the signs of trafficking, identifying a case, distinguishing cultural practices from exploitation, and partnering with others to identify victims.||After the training, over 95 percent of respondents reported a “moderate” or “large improvement in their preparedness to take action in these areas.”|
Assessment of the Institutes. The participants “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the training had deepened their understanding of human trafficking allowed an exchange of information with others and gave them a sense of empowerment. They also reported that the Institute helped them increase their commitment to work with others in the field on issues of human trafficking.
The participants mostly “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the trainers were knowledgeable, the training was well organized, and that the information was well-written and clearly presented. The faculty and representatives from the Prime Minister’s office reported that the Institutes targeted the right groups and that the Institute legitimized the task forces.
The participants made several suggestions for improving the Institutes. First, some participants felt that representatives of the medical professions should have been invited to present information to the group. Second, participants suggested extending the time of the Institute so that all topics could have been covered. Third, the suggestion was made to include real-world examples of human trafficking to enhance the training.
Creation of Anti-Trafficking Task Forces. The participants formed three task forces and each had approximately 20 members. Two had been operational during the period of the evaluation, while one had not yet started. The North West Region Task Force developed an action plan, conducted a survey of the Task Force members and debriefed them on the results. The task force encountered a few obstacles: lack of funding, lack of time, and no authorization for task members to participate.
The Littoral Region Task Force created a summary of the Institute and an action plan. The task force has had multiple meetings, although it has not been officially installed because of the difficulty of finding time in the Governors schedule.
The South West Region Task Force created a summary of the Institute. Members contributed personal money to fund transportation and other expenses.
Comprehensive TIP legislation in Cameroon. Vital Voices provided consultation on updating the 2011 anti-trafficking law. At the time of the final evaluation report, the Government of Cameroon had not amended the 2011 anti-trafficking law to be in full compliance of the Palermo Protocol.
2.4 Lessons Learned
The final report included several recommendations for enhancing the Institutes, such as inviting a broader spectrum of participants, including medical professionals as co-trainers. The evaluator also recommended developing a set of training and awareness raising materials for participants to share with colleagues. This would provide broader dissemination of the information than just in the Institute. The challenges associated with development of regional task forces (e.g., funding, political will, and time for member participation) should be addressed proactively. Task force leaders may need to identify a way to engage government members more actively to ensure a timely start to activities and the help sustain the task forces over time.
3. Baseline Assessment of the Child Protection Compact Partnership
The Child Protection compact (CPC) Partnership, signed in June 20115 is a joint initiative between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the U.S. This four-year initiative addressed child trafficking in Ghana by strengthening the government’s capacity to identify child trafficking cases, care for and reintegrate victims, effectively investigate and prosecute traffickers, and prevent child trafficking from occurring. The CPC partnership included the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations. J/TIP also funded Free the Slaves and the International Office of Migration to provide support.
3.2 Evaluation Activities
The baseline assessment focused on the three target regions (Volta, Greater Accra, and Central) and two comparison regions (Ashanti and Eastern). The assessment included collecting numerical data for the year prior to the signing of the CPC (2015) on: (1) the estimated numbers of rescues, (2) arrests, (3) prosecutions, and (4) convictions for child trafficking. The qualitative data collection focused on the existence of standard operating procedures, referral mechanism, and interagency collaborations. At the end of the CPC partnership, J/TIP will conduct another assessment and compare the results to examine the effectiveness of the CPC in combating child trafficking.
The baseline assessment covered a total of 91 key informant interviews (KIs) comprised of 67 government officials from the four ministries involved in the CPC, and 23 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across five regions of Ghana (three target regions and two comparison regions).
Child trafficking statistics. The KI interviews revealed no nationwide system for collecting, storing, and analyzing data on child trafficking. Furthermore, very few government officials were able to provide any statistics on rescues re-integrations, investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and convictions. Individual NGOs tended to record their own statistics; however, there was no systematic approach for collating this information on the national level. Although the Anti-Trafficking Unit under the Ghana Police Service compiled regular reports on human trafficking cases, the age of the victims was rarely reported. The following bullets summarize the findings about key child trafficking statistics:
- Few KIs had the ability to give estimates outside of their own involvement in cases.
- Many referred the Trafficking in Persons Report as the only source of national statistics or to the AHTU for information on investigations, arrest, and prosecutions.
- Respondents aware of cases had either been directly involved in them or had heard of them through media channels.
- Even though respondents did not know the exact numbers of forced child labor, child labor trafficking, and child sex trafficking cases, there seemed to be agreement that child sex trafficking had a lower number.
Target vs. comparison regions. The site visits revealed differences in the activities related to child trafficking between the target and comparison regions. Figure 1 shows the results for nine key indicators about the KIs knowledge of child trafficking issues and capacity to deal with cases of child trafficking. The respondents in the target regions had received slightly more training in child trafficking issues than the KIs in the target regions. They also had more knowledge of screening tools, referral mechanisms, the CPC TWC, and SOPs. The target and comparison sites had about the same knowledge of the CPC partnership. The KIs in the comparison regions had more training in trauma informed approaches to treating victims than those in the target regions.
The final report has a table showing that the comparison regions had more standard operating procedures on arrests, prosecutions than the target regions. The KIs in the target regions had slightly more SOPs on investigations.
Figure 1: Results of Key Indicators for Target (n=35) and Comparison (n=24) Regions (n=24)
In terms of NGO/IO activity, the target and comparison regions were not setting out on an even footing. This was true in relation to NGO/IO activity and availability of shelters. Whereas 12 NGOs reported having activities in the Central, Volta, or Greater Accra regions, only two worked in Ashanti and Eastern All the shelters, except for one in Ashanti, were located in the target regions. Although this shelter had comprehensive services, it provides only 80 beds compared to many more in target regions. The Eastern region appeared to have no shelters for victims of trafficking.
Shelters. The assessment revealed many more and NGO-run community shelters handling child victims of trafficking. NGOs were heavily involved in rescues, and had awareness of arrests and prosecutions. NGO community shelters provided the most comprehensive rehabilitation services for child victims of trafficking, given that the Madina government shelter had only been recently and temporarily opened for street children. The Osu government shelter struggles for resources. At the time of the baseline assessment, no shelters served victims of child sex trafficking.
3.4 Lessons Learned
Since this study was a baseline assessment instead of lessons learned, we present recommendations.
- Promote a consistent understanding of the definition of child trafficking among key government and NGO actors to be used in the SOPs and the collection of data.
- Establish an agreed-upon standardized set of screening tools, SOPs, and referral mechanisms for handling victims of child trafficking. These need to be disseminated and employed by all partners including district government officials, and NGOs.
- Ensure that there is capacity (both human and financial) to deal with cases of child trafficking at the district level in terms of trained police, social workers, and prosecutors.
- Improve and expand government facilities for sheltering victims of child trafficking.
- Establish a shelter or a process to rehabilitee victims of child sex trafficking.
- Map the source communities and increase targeted educational activities in these areas.
- Create a child trafficking shelter and NGO directory to distribute widely.
- Create a directory of government officers’ contacts.
- Explore innovative approaches for helping victims.
4. Technical Support to CATW
The goal of the technical assistance to CATW was to support the organization for monitoring their J/TIP Project, End Demand. The purpose of the End Demand project was to end the demand for prostitutes who are often victims of sex trafficking. The goals were to change norms among men and boys in Latin America about the use of prostitution and to train them on women’s equality through discussions about power and control in relationships. Another goal was to train peer counselors to implement the model more broadly than the initial training sessions.
At the beginning of the project, Westat project staff communicated by email, conference call, and in-person with the CATW Executive Director and Program Manager about the types of technical support available. Westat’s task was to analyze the pretest and posttests administered at the trainings. The assessments tapped into areas such as gender roles, power and control in relationships, and sexual activity. Westat prepared a written report and tables showing the results of the assessments.
The Westat staff spoke with the CATW staff on the importance of monitoring and evaluation. We emphasized that the results would not only help J/TIP demonstrate the extent to which the intervention achieved its goals, but that including results in proposals to other funders would strengthen CATW’s requests for funding.
5. Performance Measurement Toolkit
Throughout the years that the Westat team provided evaluation services to J/TIP and through our work with other organizations, we realized that there was a wide range of experience and ability to collect performance measurement data. Some of the grantees had a wealth of indicators and sophisticated custom designed MIS systems to store data, while others were unfamiliar with monitoring project performance other than preparing progress reports. In response to this perceived need, Westat developed a performance measurement toolkit. The toolkit includes definitions of terms, the relationship of measuring performance to evaluating projects, and approaches to data collection. The toolkit also included copies of J/TIP’s reporting forms.
 Westat submitted separate final reports on the Vital Voices project in Cameroon and the Ghana Baseline Survey. This report summarizes much longer reports for these two tasks.