General Research Ethics Themes

The PREA systematic literature review and qualitative interviews identified several themes into which various ethical issues in humanitarian research could be grouped. Some of these have been classified within a specific domain in this Tool. Others themes fit within a few domains and have been listed here under General Research Ethics Themes. Many of these are well-known ethical issues in research, although they may have particular relevance or challenges in humanitarian research.

Please choose one of the following subtopics

Confidentiality
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Conflict of Interest
Informed Consent
Equity Equity and fairness
Ethics Review
Community Engagement
Publication Ethics
Benefit and Harm Balance Weighing up and balancing the benefits and harms of research was a central and frequently raised ethical issue identified in PREA research. The potential benefits to participants and their communities should be greater than the risks of harm. However, balancing the two has many challenges. Benefits and harms are estimated ahead of time, but what happens during the research may differ in both kind and scale. Humanitarian settings can be fluid and unstable, leading to change being more usual than stability. Benefits and harms can also occur in very different ways. A vaccine efficacy trial may carry physical benefits and risks, while participating in an interview could lead to emotional benefits or privacy violations. All these complicate these considerations and require careful reflection.


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