This week CEINAV is completing almost all of 24 workshops with practitioners in the four countries, a major step forward in the empirical work of our project! Only two workshops had to be re-scheduled for early September. Central aim of the workshops was to explore how decisions are made in difficult situations, and to look at the dilemmas that arise in practice, when conflicting rights, needs or mandates appear. The workshops were very successful, and the participants were enthusiastic about the opportunity to reflect in more depth and in dialogue with other professions on how they deal with the challenges of addressing violence.
The workshops were designed to follow a common structure in all four countries and across the three areas of violence, with open-ended focal-group methodology then allowing the diversity arising from the country context and the differences between frameworks of intervention for domestic violence, trafficking, and child protection to come to the fore.
Through meetings and conversations with the associate partners and among the five research teams, we defined a list of the main areas of practice for each of the three forms of violence, identifying which professionals could have experience in recognizing situations of violence and initiating intervention. Participants were sought who would not work together on a daily basis, often coming from different towns or districts.
Detailed guidelines for the agreed procedure were written, suggesting key ethical dilemmas that may lie beneath the surface of discussions. Drawing on the expertise of cooperating practitioners as well as on research knowledge, a basic narrative for a paradigmatic case study was developed. It begins before intervention when the signs and signals for possible violence are not yet clear for any professional, and then continues in two stages of probable contact with agencies and indications of more serious harm. In the interest of comparability, six core questions were also formulated that were asked in the same way in all workshops. In the course of two half-day sessions, there was plenty of time to pursue issues and differences important to the participants.
The agreed set of core questions and the agreed narrative arc in all the stories comprising three sequences provided the scaffolding upon which we could hang the tapestry of our diversity. The next step in our work will be to analyse the workshops “two by two”, in order to write a working paper on the shape and patterns of intervention and its dilemmas for each form of violence within the context of each country. These 12 papers will be the material for a working seminar with all partners and all associate partners in the fall.