Ethical Research in Fragile and Conflict Affected Contexts: Guidelines for Reviewers
UKRI Research and Innovation, 16 November 2021
Ethical considerations arise in all research. They are, however, amplified in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The power imbalances between local and international researchers are increased and the risk of harm is augmented. The research takes place in a context where appropriate safeguards are often reduced and the probabilities of unethical research are magnified. Existing explorations of ethics and ethical review processes often focus primarily on the front end of the data cycle. Yet, we know that harm can occur at any stage in the research cycle. Ethical research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts therefore requires that researchers and funders reflect even more critically and systematically on every step of the research process – from defining the research agenda and selecting researchers through to data collection, analysis and dissemination and communication of findings. These UKRI and UNICEF reviewer guidelines provide a unique tool for reviewers to assure themselves, as reviewers and/or funders, that research projects funded will give systematic and on going consideration to the ethics of research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The tool provides seven criteria for consideration and a checklist for reviewers to use systematically to support their review process…
Editor’s note: UK Research and Innovation provides research and innovation funding, funded through the science budget of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.