Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

James Levinson


A Program Constraints Assessment (PCA) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI) were conducted on the collaboration between anti-trafficking non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies to explore factors inhibiting effective partnership, and thus impeding progress in the movement to end human trafficking.

The research was designed to identify constraints and offer suggestions for improvement, as well as to identify and elaborate on examples of successful collaboration. It also sought to identify, in discussions with these organizations and NGOs, new collaborations that might contain a large amount of promise for increasing overall effectiveness in the anti-trafficking movement.

All of the information derived for the PCA and AI was based entirely on analyses and suggestions from the Government Trafficking in Persons Office (G/TIP), Boat People SOS (BPSOS), Polaris Project, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The information was collected through semi-structured interviews that took an “interview guide approach,” with questions designed to explore certain issues in the field of collaboration, but with the direction of the conversation ultimately determined by participants’ responses (Rallis and Rossman, p. 181).

A range of program constraints have been highlighted by the research, as well as corresponding suggestions for overcoming those constraints. Research findings have been organized into four categories of suggested changes for overcoming constraints: policy change, technical change, research change and training change.

The research elicited the following primary suggestions from the organizations and agencies: incorporate a solid M&E plan from the beginning of projects to fully measure effectiveness, obtain a working knowledge of partners to be certain of what each organization can offer, strengthen human trafficking task forces, increase information sharing among agencies, hire program staff or interpreters that can communicate with clients in their own language, and focus on needs of the movement rather than the personal interest of the organization in order to bolster effectiveness of the anti-trafficking movement. For organizations partnering with NGO’s in other countries, cultural differences in accountability can be overcome by introducing a central accepted standard of business practice and cultural training to ensure partners are on the same page.

The AI determined that in order to bolster collaboration, anti-trafficking entities should expand ideas of partnership and work with, at the very minimum, the private sector and businesses, consumers, medical professionals, teachers and school administrators, students, airline associations, people who conduct inspections, embassies, youth detention centers, and citizens to enhance efforts to identify and assist victims of trafficking.


Public Policy