International development research funders publish guidance to anticipate, mitigate and address harm in research
Today, international development research funders share UKCDR’s best practice guidance and principles to prevent and tackle harm and abuse across research for international development in general as well as in emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marta Tufet, Executive Director of UKCDR said:
"Everyone involved in research for international development has the right to be protected from harm and while there is much good practice already in place to ensure this, our new guidance provides a vital resource to ensure everyone involved in research is able to reflect on best safeguarding practice to ensure all involved are safe. Providing guidance on safeguarding in international development research is crucial, and arguably even more pertinent during these extraordinary times. People and organisations may not focus on its importance in the face the immediate emergency, and low-resources settings can be at greater risk of safeguarding abuses. This guidance provides a framework for preventing risk in the first place as well as tackling issues when the arise."
The evidence-based guidance is designed to be used flexibly and collaboratively by a wide range of people involved in the international development research process, whether based in low-, middle- or high-income countries. The findings and principles are also widely applicable to the UK and wider international setting (non-LMIC). Formed around four key principles – rights of victims and survivors and whistle-blowers; equity and fairness; transparency and accountability and good governance – we ensured the guidance was not prescriptive and is adaptable to different contexts.
The guidance, developed by a team at the University of Liverpool with UKCDR, is designed to be used flexibly and collaboratively by a wide range of people involved in the international development research process, whether based in low-, middle- or high-income countries. The findings and principles are also widely applicable to the UK and wider international settings (non-LMIC) and framed around four key principles – rights of victims and survivors and whistle-blowers; equity and fairness; transparency and accountability and good governance. To ensure the guidance is adaptable to different contexts, this guidance is not prescriptive and takes the form of questions for key stakeholders involved in international development research.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this guidance is accompanied by a ‘companion piece’ to underline the ongoing importance of safeguarding in research in the context of COVID-19, highlighting specific issues to consider during the current crisis and signpost additional useful resources.
"This work represents the start of a long-term ambition. Today we emphasise our continued commitment to support international development funders, research institutions and other organisations that conduct development research to drive up safeguarding standards across the sector, both during this pandemic where support is needed and with renewed vigour once this crisis has passed" Marta Tufet explained.
The guidance and reports are available here:
- Guidance on Safeguarding in International Development Research
- Practical Application of UKCDR Safeguarding Guidance During COVID-19
- Report on Phase 2 International Consultation
This news story was originally published on the UKCDR website.
Main image © Dr Peter Sahota