News 15 Jun 2017
Belgrade: 39 centres meet to advance right to rehabilitation through data

Collecting reliable data on torture is a key challenge to supporting life after torture. The DFI Project was set up to develop a database to collect clinical data to evidence the work of the rehabilitation movement. The Project aims to support dozens of rehabilitation centres to capture systematic data through this standardised database system designed by IRCT centres for IRCT centres.

Belgrade: 39 centres meet to advance right to rehabilitation through data

All the participants from the IRCT-DFI meeting for the Europe region come together for a group photo opportunity.

In recent months, the DFI Project community has carried out a series of regional workshops with the broader IRCT network, not only to build and strengthen participants’ knowledge of the database, but also to provide a platform from which to engage and collaborate on data collection, use and sharing to generate change.

Bojana Trivuncic from IAN centre in Serbia demonstrating the DFI database, which systematically captures clinical and contextual data on torture victims, to fellow participants.Bojana Trivuncic from IAN centre in Serbia demonstrating the DFI database, which systematically captures clinical and contextual data on torture victims, to fellow participants.

The fifth meeting in this series of workshops was held in Belgrade from 31 to 2 May for the European region, which presented a detailed agenda focused on peer-to-peer learning and workshops, responsible data management and future steps in advancing data collection, sharing and use from local, regional and global perspectives. A total of 39 participants attended from across the European region.

Three mini break-out sessions focusing on improving the existing DFI database.Three mini break-out sessions focusing on improving the existing DFI database.

"For me, the DFI meeting was extremely insightful for understanding how we, as a movement, can make a difference on a macro level. If we organise ourselves, come to a consensus on collection of similar set of data we can make a difference beyond our individual centres and clients. I do believe that by collecting data in a uniform way - evidencing patterns of torture, identifying the perpetrators, understanding who are the most vulnerable groups that are submitted to the acts of torture, seeing the sequelae, etc. will give us a louder voice - and envisage that the DFI is a platform for reaching this overarching goal," said Lela Tsiskarishvili, Executive Director, The Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation for Torture Victims – GCRT and member for Europe of the IRCT Executive Committee.

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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.

"For me, the DFI meeting was extremely insightful for understanding how we, as a movement, can make a difference on a macro level. If we organise ourselves, come to a consensus on collection of similar set of data we can make a difference beyond our individual centres and clients."

Lela Tsiskarishvili, Executive Director at GCRT

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