ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us


Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Listening to the Voices of the People: The Psychosocial Influences and Consequences of Research in Ethnocultural Communities (Books: Joseph Trimble, et al | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 14, 2017

In the past three decades, there has been a dramatic increase in mental health research conducted among ethnic and nationalistic groups. As the interest has increased so have the concerns of many ethnocultural communities about research in general and the presence of researchers in their communities. The rising community concerns accompanied with the emergence of community-based research review committees presents extraordinary challenges for researchers – challenges that are only beginning to be fully and seriously acknowledged at methodological, procedural, and conceptual levels. The most important challenge though is the actual responsible conduct of researchers while they are in the field and the relationship they establish with their respondents. The chapter discusses the history of how research has been conducted in ethnocultural communities with the use of culturally inappropriate designs, methodology, and interpretation. Consequently, communities are now taking steps to protect themselves against the harm, which has come from the past abuses of research practices and the insensitivities of the researchers. Moreover, it is essential to educate ethnocultural communities about healing from the effects of past research and subsequently teach communities how to empower themselves in future research endeavors. Research can be beneficial to ethnocultural communities if appropriate measures are taken to ensure cultural responsiveness and solid grounding in the culturally unique lifeways and thoughtways of the communities.

Keywords: ethics; community empowerment; participatory action research; culturally sensitive research.

Trimble, J. E., Casillas, D. M., Boyd, B., & King, J. (2017). Listening to the Voices of the People: The Psychosocial Influences and Consequences of Research in Ethnocultural Communities. In Social Issues in Living Color: Challenges and Solutions from the Perspective of Ethnic Minority Psychology [3 volumes], 305. Praeger Books
Research Gate:…

Documenting the Impact of Conflict on Women Living in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Sri Lanka: Some Ethical Considerations0

Posted by Admin in on January 22, 2017

In December 2005, The Asia Foundation invited Women’s Rights International (WRI) to Sri Lanka to conduct an assess­ment of the infrastructure for support­ing a population-based random-sample survey of the impact of the conflict on Sri Lankan women. The goal of the survey would be to use statistical sampling methods to interview women selected at random in order to estimate the scope of human rights violations, including sexual violence, as well as a broader scope of long-term direct and indirect economic and health conse­quences of the conflict. The survey would complement ongoing efforts by the Human Rights Accountability Coalition to document political and ethnic violence in Sri Lanka.

The December 2005 assessment addressed the following issues:

  • The level of need for initiating a new effort to document the impact of the conflict on women
  • The quantity and quality of existing documents or records that reflect the impact of conflict on women
  • The current capacity among local organizations for supporting a docu-mentation effort

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Generic Risks of Exporting Non-Ethical Practices0

Posted by Admin in on January 5, 2017

Executive Summary
The potential to be exploited is part of the human condition. Even superheroes usually have an Achilles’ heel, or vulnerability. Take for instance, Superman, whose vulnerability is kryptonite.

Exploiters take advantage of others’ vulnerabilities to promote their own interests. Whilst there is a morally neutral sense of exploitation (the exploitation of natural talents to create art, for example), the term is generally used to describe a moral failing.

Exploiting others is morally wrong.

This report is about the risks for exploitation for defined entities, in other words, ‘Achilles’ heels’ in research. What makes exploitation more likely to occur due to vulnerabilities that can be exploited, either knowingly or unknowingly?

After careful analysis of the relevant literature and case studies, as well as consultation withleading ethics committee chairs and representatives of vulnerable populations from low and middle income countries (LMICs), an exploitation risk table was produced. Risks were categorized according to the points at which vulnerability occurred, and were grouped according to four values which have to be present to avoid exploitation in North-South collaborations: fairness, respect, care and honesty. Trustworthiness is achieved when all four values are realized.

Kate Chatfield, Doris Schroeder, Klaus Leisinger, Jaci van Niekerk, Ngayo Munuo, Rachel Wynberg and Paul Woodgate (2016) Generic Risks of Exporting Non-Ethical Practices, a report for TRUST

TRUST – Protecting San Indigenous Knowledge – From A Research Contract to a San Code of Ethics0

Posted by Admin in on January 3, 2017


The fascinating video should be watched in full screen so it is easier to read the translations

The Bushmen/San of South Africa are one of the most researched communities in the world. They hold valuable traditional knowledge and their genetic traits are of great interest to researchers. To protect themselves from exploitation, they took the initiative and developed a media contract and a research contract in 2003. When film makers or researchers engage with the community, they are meant to go through the community structures (e.g. the San Council) to get approval for their activities. To protect themselves further, the San are currently in the process of developing a Code of Ethics for Researchers, supported by the TRUST project. This film captures the views of some leading San representatives on their efforts to protect the community from exploitation.