Survivor Participation and Research Networks

Posted on December 13, 2012


Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor

Panel discussion, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 7 December 2012

The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor research network includes victim assistance researchers who are survivors and researchers from representative groups.  A panel discussion at the 12MSP addressed issues ranging from survivors monitoring change on the ground, to monitoring coordination and reporting on victim assistance in the context of the broader rights of persons with disabilities. Topics included what survivor monitoring means in practice and how reporting on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities couldCAP Actions - monitioring and evaluation enhance survivor participation in victim assistance monitoring.

According to Cartagena Action Plan (CAP) Action #23 States Parties must ensure the inclusion and full and active participation of mine victims and their representative organizations in monitoring and evaluation. Another six CAP Actions include monitoring and evaluation.

Over the last few years, the way the Monitor works with local, in-country researchers has changed. Rather than have a single researcher per country, in many cases, researchers will work on just one thematic area, such as victim assistance, rather than covering all thematic areas addressed in the Monitor. One result of this has been the increase in the number of survivors and others who work with survivor networks taking on the role of in-country researcher. For 2012, nearly half of the 28 in-country researchers working on victim assistance were members or worked with survivor networks, including three survivors. With the additional input of volunteer information providers, such as panelist Margaret Arech Orech, there is significant survivor involvement in national monitoring through the Monitor research network.

The heightened participation of survivors in the Monitor research network was the natural outcome of efforts to find the right researchers for the role. It was not specifically planned for, nor was it the result of affirmative action or positive discrimination. We simply found that in many countries, survivors and representatives of survivor networks are the experts and are the people who are most informed regarding the situation of victim assistance in their countries. They are often members of national victim assistance coordination mechanisms, have access to a range of victim assistance stakeholders. They often also work with survivors throughout the country and many have been involved in carrying out national victim needs assessments. The information and perspectives provided by these in-country researchers are essential to ensuring that monitoring and reporting on victim assistance reflects the situation in reality. Such monitoring has been seen to lead to more effective advocacy and activities.

Presentation: Monitoring for All

Panelists:

Margaret Arech Orech, Uganda Landmine Survivors Association, ICBL Ambassador

Marianne Schulze, Human Rights Consultant

Megan Burke, Victim Assistance Editor and Survivor Network Project Coordinator, ICBL-CMC

Loren Persi, Victim Assistance Specialist, ICBL-CMC (moderator)

Related links:

The-monitor.org: Resources for Landmine Monitor Researchers, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com: Understanding The UN Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities, Marianne Schulze
http://www.ohchr.org: Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disability: Guidance for human rights monitors, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights