This year we continued to resource and upskill our members and partners to strengthen their advocacy on the issue of detention. Two examples highlight this work and the results it can achieve.
Firstly, we released an updated version of There Are Alternatives (revised edition), our handbook for preventing unnecessary immigration detention and improving the outcomes of community-based alternatives. The handbook was revised to incorporate learnings from our growing body of research and expertise, and to present a refined version of our Community Assessment and Placement model (CAP) model on alternatives to detention.
The CAP model assists governments to develop alternatives to detention, and provides our members with a framework to advocate for change. The concepts in the model are brought to life with key examples from our accumulated collection of 250 alternatives in 60 countries. An online interactive map was further developed to provide readers with access to even more examples of alternatives to detention in action.
Since its launch in October 2015, the handbook has been shared with over 30 governments, downloaded over 10,000 times and more than 2,000 hard copies have been distributed. The accompanying online interactive map was one of the most visited pages on the IDC website during the year.
The handbook has been an important resource for advocacy work around the world. For example, we submitted an Options Paper to the Greek government in response to the EU Turkey deal. It focused on alternatives to detention using the revised CAP model as our framework. The government subsequently invited the IDC to meet with senior officials to present the Options Paper and to discuss opportunities for Greece to maintain and expand alternatives in the face of significant and complex challenges.
Another way we have supported and mobilised supporters to advocate for change is by strengthening the composition and capacity of our advisory committee. The committee is a 30-person team that provides strategic advice to IDC staff members. This year we refreshed the committee membership, in order to expand the skills and geographical representation of the team.
Recognising their ability as change makers and experts on the issue of alternatives to detention, we further provided our regional representatives with comprehensive training on the revised handbook. Regional Advisors from the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Europe participated in a series of discussions to explore challenges and tactics in advocating for and developing alternatives. They were encouraged to undertake further advocacy within their own networks, as an important avenue to expand the reach of the IDC network beyond the secretariat and to further mobilise the broad support base around the IDC.
The resources developed from this workshop, produced in both English and Spanish, will be included in the IDC’s online capacity-building toolkit. Significant progress has been made on the development of the toolkit during this year, with a short course completed on case management in alternatives to detention, with a launch of the toolkit expected in early 2017. The tookit will provide a series on online short courses which enable members and partners to undertake training on alternatives to detention and to engage with key elements in the IDCs theory of change, covering case management, preventing child detention and the basics of alternatives to detention.
“A full room of interesting people, knowledgeable and engaged on Alternatives - we really are a community!” Participant in the Regional Advisor Workshop, London, June 2016
IDC Regional Advisor Meeting, London, June 2016