Towards building a culturally informed consent process in Central Asia

Towards building a culturally informed consent process in Central Asia
Research Article
Christopher M. Whitsel, Martha C. Merrill
Central Asian Survey, 26 March 2021
Researchers working in Central Asia often report difficulty obtaining Western-style signed informed consent statements. The principles underlying informed consent were developed in cultures characterized by low-power distance and individualism, low context communication and a rules basis, whereas many Central Asian cultures emphasize high-power distance, collectivism, high-context communication and relationships. Yet, consent is an important principle. We interviewed scholars who grew up in Central Asia, but completed graduate work in the United States, Canada or the UK, to ask their recommendations for developing a culturally appropriate consent process. The common themes that arose include working within a network, building relationships of trust with potential participants and not utilizing legal-type documentation as a basis for consent.

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