DSA-ESRC Workshop series
MEETING THE CHALLENGES
Interdisciplinary research for global development
Research Ethics in Contexts of post-Conflict and Displacement
Research in contexts of post-conflict and displacement heightens ethical challenges. These were the focus of the second of the DSA-ESRC workshops on the global challenges, co-sponsored by the Universities of Reading and Bath.The great value of the day was the opportunity to discuss across south/north and academic/policy and practice divides. Of the twenty six participants, six were from the global South. Independent consultants, and staff from the United Nations, national and international NGOs shared experience with academics from anthropology, political science, law, sociology, geography, archaeology and architecture.
Discussion centred on key ethical issues participants identified in contexts of post-conflict and displacement. These included: building meaningful relationships; who to work – and not work – with; payment, impact and the purpose of research; risk management, complaint mechanisms and accountability.
A surprising finding was that differing understandings of key terms such as research, post-conflict, the purpose of research, and what makes an issue ethical, cut across differences in work experience, national and disciplinary backgrounds.
The day closed by considering some key points for a best practice guide on conducting ethical research in contexts of post-conflict and displacement. Please see below for keynotes and video interviews with workshop delegates. A more detailed reflection is coming soon.
Building a new society in Gambia
Yassin Brunger, a lawyer from Queen’s University, Belfast, describes how interdisciplinary teams help victims’ voices be heard in re-building society after conflict in Gambia
Research Ethics in Iraq
Rozhen Mohammed-Amin, an architect from the Kurdistan region in Iraq, describes how colleagues from Education helped her see new ethical dimensions of research interviewing
Zaynab Ashalalfeh, a Palestinian from Jerusalem, describes the shock of studying in the UK, which made her aware of how normalised were high levels of risk and violence in her own context
Architect Rozhen Mohammed-Amin reflects on research ethics in Iraq and lawyer Yassin Brunger questions what research is – and should be - for