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

Principles and Guidelines for ethical research and evaluation in development – ACFID (Codes and Resource material | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 30, 2017

This document is intended to promote and support improved development practice in the areas of research and evaluation, to raise awareness, and to assist in the identification of ethical issues so that well-considered decisions can be made and justified. Ethical principles are considered most important as ethical practice in
research and evaluation relies on active self-reflection, discretion, judgement and appreciation of context.

This document was prepared by Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), in consultation with its member organisations, academic partners and the ACFID University Network. It was developed to assist ACFID members and is aligned with the ACFID Code of Conduct.1 In particular, the principles proposed here complement the values that underpin the work of ACFID members in aid and development represented in this Code of Conduct.2

The principles outlined here are based on and extend existing internationally recognised ethical research principles and guidance for data collection with human participants. The extensions include an emphasis on cross-cultural elements, power relations, capacity building and understanding the ‘development’ imperative within research practice conducted with and through non-governmental organisations.

Read the rest of the Code
Access the new ACFID resources to accompany the Code

Values in China as Compared to Africa: Two Conceptions of Harmony0

Posted by Admin in on July 29, 2017

Not specifically on research ethics, but a good and unusual comparison of African Ubuntu and Confucian traditions approaches to ideas about harmony in opposition to Western liberal. The first piece is by a South African-based philosopher. These two articles point to ways of promoting dialogue between researchers and reviewers within particular cultural contexts.


Acknowledging a twenty-first-century context of sophisticated market economies and other Western influences such as Christianity, what similarities and differences are there between characteristic indigenous values of sub-Saharan Africa and China, and how do they continue to influence everyday life in these societies? After establishing that ideals of harmonious relationships are central to both non-Western value systems, traditional African and Chinese conceptions of harmony are compared and contrasted, and a number of aspects are analyzed in which the appreciation of this value affects contemporary political, economic, and social interaction.

Metz, T. (2017) Values in China as Compared to Africa: Two Conceptions of Harmony. Philosophy East and West 67(2) 441-465. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/pew.2017.0034

And a response to Metz from Li

Chenyang Li (2016) Confucian Harmony in Dialogue with African Harmony: A Response. African and Asian Studies 15 (2016) 1-10; doi 10.1163/15692108-12341353

Covert Research The Art, Politics and Ethics of Undercover Fieldwork (Books: David Calvey | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 23, 2017

Undercover research is an emotive and controversial field often equated with deception and transgression. Using classic examples and contemporary case studies this book challenges covert research’s dispersed place within the social sciences and rehabilitates its reputation as a powerful research method.

Drawing in part on his own undercover research into the night-time economy of bouncers, the author explores the roots and evolution of covert research; his deft treatment of the fear and fascination within furtive fieldwork is grounded in the practicality of the methods and tools needed to conduct quality research in the field.

Packed with learning-by-example tips, this book shows that with critical imagination and proper ethical foundations, covert research could be a great addition to your methodological toolkit.

Calvey, D. (2017). Covert Research: The Art, Politics and Ethics of Undercover Fieldwork, SAGE Publications.

Social Media Research & Ethics0

Posted by Admin in on July 4, 2017

Segment 1: An Introduction to Social Media and Research Ethics


The current influx of social media data presents a valuable opportunity for researchers to access large data sets of rich, naturally occurring data. While researchers have begun taking advantage of this opportunity, questions have arisen around the ethics of how that data should be used. Dr. Leanne Townsend explains these questions and presents a framework for solutions, including case studies to practice application.

Townsend, L. (Academic). (2017). Social media research & ethics [Streaming video]. Retrieved from SAGE Research Methods 04/07/2o17.

The video should advance automatically through the segments of this very practical and useful talk Just in case we have included below direct links to each segment and a consolidated transcript as a PDF

Watch the other segments
Segment 2: Why do researchers need ethical guidance when using social media data?
Segment 3: What are the key areas of concern within social media research?
Segment 4: A Framework For Ethical Research With Social Media Data
Segment 5 – Case studies
Segment 6 – Conclusion

PDF transcript of talk