This week, the third of six regional IRCT-DFI meetings kicked off in Amman, Jordan. Hosted by IRCT member centre in Jordan, the Institute for Family Health, the three-day meeting gives IRCT members from across the MENA region a unique opportunity to meet and learn more about the DFI database. The same members have also been able to discuss how they can cooperate to strengthen their work to fight impunity, prevent torture from happening and improve rehabilitation services to survivors of torture.
As part of the event a number of rehabilitation centres, including project partners from Palestine and Lebanon, have shared their experiences on how DFI data is being used for research and evidencing the needs of survivors. Very importantly they have shared their achievements in producing reports on the acts of torture taking place in their communities and using these reports in a range of national and international advocacy initiatives.
A significant part of the meeting has been dedicated to practically using the database and capturing feedback from participants regarding usability, debating the technical definitions used in the database, and DFI’s ongoing applicability to centres’ respective strategies. As part of the seminar, the centres have also visited the Institute for Family Health to see how the centre is responding to the many demands that have arisen since the mass influx of Syrians seeking sanctuary in the region.
“The challenges of battling impunity for torture in the MENA region are many and well known. Through this gathering in Jordan this week we are able to demonstrate how a clinical database can be used appropriately amongst centres for anti-impunity initiatives, evidencing the right to rehabilitation, networking regionally and research. There is much that the partners in this region can do to bolster all of their individual efforts in the very difficult contexts they work,” said Leanne MacMillan, Director of Research Development at the IRCT.
Eleven participants from AMRVT Morocco, CLDH Lebanon, GCMHP Palestine, IFH Jordan, Jiyan Foundation of Human Rights Iraq, KHIAM Lebanon, ODVV Iran, TRC Palestine, Restart Lebanon, ODVV Iran and Wchan Iraq have all come together for the meeting.
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Central to the development of the sector’s ability to evidence its work, is the collection of appropriate, consistent and comparable clinical information. The DFI Project represents a system-wide response to this need. DFI is based on building expertise through partners and ensuring that it is shared. The IRCT member centres piloting the project were selected on the basis of regional balance and capacity to represent the full range of rehabilitation practices across the movement and their ability to provide leadership and sustainability in the development of the project into a longstanding programme of work. Over the course of three years, ending in 2017, it will have put in place a standardised clinical record-keeping system in 33 member centres in 28 countries. In the final phase of the project, energy will be focused on sharing the database and associated training with the global movement to maximise impact.