EADI BLOG by Linda Johnson and Rodrigo Mena
A quick glance at who is out collecting data in ‘the field’, including in remote and sometimes hazardous environments, is enough to make our point clear: the main executors of in-situ research (also known as fieldwork research) are local researchers and research assistants, sometimes together with junior or PhD researchers from research institutions in the Global North. These groups are being systematically and disproportionately exposed to safety and security issues linked to field research.
EADI Blog by Katarzyna Cieslik, Shreya Sinha, Cees Leeuwis, Tania Eulalia Martínez-Cruz, Nivedita Narain and Bhaskar Vira
Global scientific partnerships should generate and share knowledge equitably, but too often exploit research partners in low-income countries, while disproportionately benefitting those in higher-income countries. Here, I outline my suggestions for more-equitable partnerships.
Primary data collection in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is associated with a range of ethical complexities. Considerations on how to adequately ensure the well-being of research staff are largely neglected in contemporary ethics discourse. This systematic review aims to identify the ethical challenges that research staff across different hierarchical levels and scientific disciplines face when conducting research in LMICs.
Christopher H. Trisos, Jess Auerbach & Madhusudan Katti
UKCDR and ESSENCE launched a new Equitable Partnerships Resource Hub, which brings together guidance, tools and principles on equitable partnerships from across the world.
The rise of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to rigorously evaluate development policy is characterized by a wide range of ethical complexities. While the literature has identified ethical challenges pertaining to study participants, we argue that the principle of “do no harm” should equally apply to research staff. Based on an ongoing systematic review and interviews with research staff at different hierarchical levels and world regions, we identify key ethical challenges of field research in the Global South, including threats to physical and emotional wellbeing. Moreover, prevailing power imbalances can create precarious working conditions and inadequate acknowledgement of contributions. An open discussion and learning from “best practices” is needed to address these gaps in development research.
This book provides case studies of “ethics dumping” that were largely facilitated by loopholes in the ethics governance of low and middle-income countries. It is instructive even to experienced researchers since it provides a voice to vulnerable populations from the forementioned countries. Ensuring the ethical conduct of North-South collaborations in research is a process fraught with difficulties. The background conditions under which such collaborations take place include extreme differentials in available income and power, as well as a past history of colonialism, while differences in culture can add a new layer of complications. In this context, up-to-date case studies of unethical conduct are essential for research ethics training.
This publication by swisspeace and the KFPE demonstrates, in eight contributions, how scientists view their research as dependent of national and international power structures. Research in conflict zones can point to ways and means to diffuse tension, if consciously undertaken. To achieve this objective, field research projects need to consider these specifics from the very outset.
Transboundary and intercultural research in partnership is a continuous process of sound knowledge generation, building mutual trust, mutual learning and shared ownership.