Verification

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-0638/Kamber
A girl stands near a pockmarked wall during a lull in the intense fighting in the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. Dozens of children have been killed or wounded by stray bullets during the fighting.

Objective:

  • For participants to have a clear understanding of what is meant by verification for purposes of MRM
  • For participants to have an understanding of the difference between verification and monitoring
Participants MRM Staff
Coordinators
Session Participatory Presentation
Time required 90 minutes
Venue requirements Main training room
Equipment Multi media projector, laptop
Flipchart paper and markers
Resource person(s) 1 person with field experience of leading on verification
Training materials - Power point presentation "Verification"
- MRM Field Manual Section F3 "Verification" under Monitoring
Documents for participants
Access to materials All training materials are included in Folder Module 8F: Verification


Session Sequence

  1. Introduction (30 minutes)


    Provision of short examples from two or three participants or facilitators, on challenges of verification and ways to resolve.

    Ask other participants to add their own areas of concern or lessons learnt on verification.
     

  2. Participatory Presentation (60 minutes)


    Use power point presentation "Verification".

    Slide 2 is to emphasise the importance of the information we provide and therefore the need for high standards of verification.

    Slide 3 provides the minimum standard of verification as stated in the MRM Field Manual. Discuss each of these bullet points. Ensure that this slide is understood and discuss fully.

    Final verification has to be done by a UN staff member but this does not mean they have to personally interview the source of information. NGO staff member can do the interview but the UN staff member will need to be confident of the source and the information provided. (See next slide).

    Slide 4 outlines some of the key considerations to be taken into account when weighing up information. Much of this should be done by the monitor but is ultimately the responsibility of the UN staff member of the CTFMR. See MRM Field Manual Section F5 for additional points as follows:

    The credibility of MRM reports and the whole MRM mechanism relies on the quality and timeliness of information provided and recorded. Whilst the MRM Task Force has the ultimate responsibility to endorse information contained in reports, MRM reporting coordinators are key to ensuring that information is of a high standard and information gathering is carried out in a manner fitting with UN humanitarian principles.

    The MRM reporting coordinators must ensure that for every case the following aspects are considered and appropriate standards met.

    1. Who gathered the information and provided the report? Personnel trained in the MRM?
    2. How were the victims interviewed?
    3. Was consent asked for? How?
    4. Ensure highest ethical standards including avoidance of multiple interviewing of victims.
    5. Is there enough information to evidence the case?
    6. Is the source of information credible?
    7. Has documentation achieved a high level of confidentiality?
    8. Has security been considered for staff member, victim and witnesses?
    9. Has an appropriate response been offered to the child or a referral been made for service provision.

    Slide 5 - ask participants if they have suggestions for additional Primary and Secondary Sources that would be acceptable information.

    Pose the following two questions:

    1. Is it possible to have only secondary sources?
    2. Is it possible to have minimum standards for when only secondary sources?

    Ask for examples of when participants have had only secondary sources but have considered this acceptable?

    One examples of when a compilation of secondary sources only might be acceptable:

    • Eye witness sees the school being bombed but cannot state that a specific child was killed in the attack.
    • Teacher confirms that a child was in the school at the time of the incident (but the teacher did not actually see the child injured).
    • Hospital doctor confirms that cause of injuries and resulting death is attributable to that of explosions
    • Accompanying medical report

    No one saw this child actually being hit by a bomb but there is sufficient evidence for monitoring purposes

    Note that given there are so many different contexts and standards of information it is very difficult to provide a minimum standard for secondary sources. If in doubt refer to the O/SRSG or UNICEF HQ.

    Slide 6 - a reminder that we are accountable to ensure that information provided is accurate, objective, reliable and timely.


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