Empirical Research and the Development and Assessment of Transitional Justice Mechanisms

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Patrick Vinck, Phuong Pham
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Publication Type
Journal Article


In this paper, we demonstrate different methods of empirical research available to transitional justice practitioners and scholars. Guidelines on how to conduct research in the field of transitional justice are outlined on the basis of the principles of monitoring and evaluation for decision making, program development and policy development. We argue that such methods offer policy makers a systematic way to consult a population and construct a comprehensive view of what this population has experienced (e.g., violations), what they know (e.g., knowledge of various transitional justice mechanisms), what they believe in (e.g., definition of justice) or what they need (e.g., accountability). Such knowledge is essential for developing effective evidence-based transitional justice programs.