In London, on 13 and 14 September, the Every Casualty programme convened a very successful conference, which gathered representatives of the casualty recording organisations that are members of the ORG-facilitated International Practitioner Network (IPN). This was the first and inaugural conference for this network, bringing together organisations from areas and conflicts as diverse as the Balkans, Guatemala, Pakistan and Somalia.
The aim of the conference was to facilitate dialogue and to encourage cooperation and mutual support between the organisations. It was made up of two structured days of information-sharing and discussion. Fostering an environment of solidarity within the IPN is a core function of the Every Casualty programme, and the conference was highly praised in this regard by attendees. Many of the participants expressed interest in research, advocacy and the establishment of the field as an acknowledged professional discipline. The event gave rise to a number of planned joint projects and future collaborations.
Another set of invitees were established advocates from NGOs, representatives of the International Criminal Court and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other institutional representatives. These attendees participated in the event as 'end users', i.e. they represented those organisations that have a stake in the information and who use the data recorded by the recording practicioners of the IPN network. The contributions of these participants deepened and clarified the understanding of the casualty recording organistions and the potential reach of the recording work that they do. This sparked an active debate on standardisation and improvement of the process.
Face-to-face communication, fascinating presentations and lively exchange made for a fulfilling and beneficial conference and a new phase of collaboration within the IPN network.
Every IPN member added their endorsement to the Charter for the Recognition of Every Casualty of Armed Violence, launched publicly on 15 September at the British Academy, with many of the IPN members present at the press conference.
Picture: A map showing the locations of some of the members of the IPN, image by Oxford Research Group