For the third time the World Watch List of Open Doors has been audited positively by a team of eight scholars of the International Institute for Religious Freedom. IIRF chose five countries and tracked the whole procedure, from the experts who answered the questionnaires, the editing process of the World Watch List Unit, through to the final scoring. Three scholars checked the whole process for all five countries, while five scholars checked one country each, of which they themselves are experts. The five scholars included further colleagues on specific questions where needed.

As a result IIRF submitted a list of proposals to improve the handling of differences in completed questionnaires on one and the same country. It was the first time, that IIRF did not submit suggestions to improve the questionnaire as such.

“The questionnaire has been improved again and again and further changes are not a priority, rather the emphasis now needs to be on guaranteeing the quality of the responses to the questionnaire and on handling differences in opinion.”

This is the audit statement:

“The results of the Open Doors World Watch List 2016 are accurately presented by the World Watch Research Unit (WWU) within the parameters of precision reached in the processing of information. The numerical data is complemented by differentiated interpretative country profiles. The auditors commend the implementation of new quality assurance measures by the WWU persecution analysts that were reported, both with regard to consistency in application of the questionnaire and methodology through group review of ambiguous questions and issues, as well as by selective mutual peer review of results on countries by pairs of persecution analysts.”

IIRF Co-Director Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer, who co-ordinated the audit team, remarked:

“I am impressed by the collegiality of the Persecution Analysts of the World Watch Research Unit of Open Doors International. I note a remarkable openness for critical feedback and ongoing efforts to improve the World Watch List.”



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