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How to build partnerships between academics and NGOs in research

Workshop to support creation of equitable partnerships in modern slavery research.

Monday 18 July 2022, 1.30-2.45pm (UK time).

Published: 27th June 2022

Event: Equitable partnerships between academic researchers and NGOs

Monday 18th July, 1.30-2.45pm

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC) will be holding a workshop ‘Building equitable partnerships between academics and NGOs in research’ on Monday 18th July, 1.30-2.45pm. The workshop will be held virtually via Teams.

The Modern Slavery PEC seeks to encourage and support the creation of diverse, equitable and innovative partnerships between academic researchers and practitioners, including civil society organisations.

We believe that there is significant untapped potential for greater collaboration in the anti-slavery sector, in turn generating new and better research evidence that is more survivor-led. In order to do that, we need to facilitate and support increased and improved dialogue between organisations and networks that may not otherwise engage directly with one another, and help to sustain that better dialogue over time.

This workshop is the first of a series that aims to build capacity and skills across the Modern Slavery PEC’s networks to build collaborative, equitable research partnerships and increase policy impact of research projects.

In this workshop we will focus specifically on partnerships between academic researchers and NGOs. The agenda includes first-hand reflection on research partnerships formed for Modern Slavery PEC-funded research projects from invited guest speakers, with the possibility to ask questions to the speakers and have an informal discussion.


  1. Introduction and welcome (10 mins)
  2. Equitable partnerships: lessons learned from Modern Slavery PEC-funded projects – presentation by the Modern Slavery PEC staff. (20 mins)
  3. Case studies with invited guest speakers (20 mins):
  • Liz Such (University of Sheffield), Debbie Ariyo (BASNET and AFRUCA) and Robin Brierley (West Midlands Anti Slavery Network) from the project assessing prevention initiatives in the UK.
  • Case study 2: Lauren Saunders (Unseen UK) from the project addressing lack of access to legal advice for survivors.

4. Questions and discussion (25 mins)

We hope that the workshop will also be an opportunity for interested researchers and practitioners to make new connections that may in turn lead to new research partnerships. We will share participant details, with your consent, following the workshop to allow participants to contact one another.

We understand that not everybody’s circumstances are the same and therefore can consider remuneration for attending this workshop on a case-by-case basis. Please let us know if you would like to discuss remuneration with us by emailing office@modernslaverypec.org.

Please note that there may be people in attendance at this workshop who have lived experience of modern slavery. Below we have included a short set of rules for the meeting that we will ask all participants to adhere to, in the interests of ensuring an open and inclusive space for discussion.

Meeting rules

Please be aware that there may be people in attendance at this meeting who have lived experience of modern slavery. There is no requirement to disclose any experiences during this meeting, but please be mindful that statements might be made which disclose personal narratives of modern slavery.

We ask that all attendees:

1) Are sensitive and respectful, listening to all points of view made in discussion and responding to these and any disclosures respectfully.

2) Do not ask any participants for details of their experience of modern slavery. Disclosure is not necessary to participate in any of the Modern Slavery PEC’s work.

3) Respect individuals’ wishes in the use of terminology. At the Modern Slavery PEC, we tend to use the terms “people with lived experience” and “survivors.” We try to avoid using “they” as a collective noun as this ‘others’ individuals’ experiences. We also avoid using the term “victim” as it tends to deny agency to people who experienced modern slavery.

4) Respect individuals’ right to anonymity. Some attendees might feel more comfortable keeping their camera off and using an anonymous screen name. Please ensure that these individuals are still included as part of conversations.

5) Ensure breaks are taken and that you protect your own mental health as needed. Discussions of modern slavery can include upsetting and distressing topics. All attendees at meetings have the right to remove themselves, either temporarily or permanently should they need to.