This chapter examines the ethics of research, primarily in the form of assessments, monitoring and evaluation, in humanitarian crises. The chapter first considers the question of what constitutes research in humanitarian crises, and why it is needed. It then examines the general principles of ethical research (respect, beneficence, research merit and integrity, and justice), and highlights three key considerations that require particular attention in humanitarian crises: the justificatory threshold, the vulnerability of research participants, and safety and security. The chapter also examines key components of the research process that are particularly important (and frequently overlooked) in humanitarian crises, including the privacy and confidentiality of research participants, informed consent and feedback to research participants. It concludes with the suggestion that basic instruction in the principles of ethical research should be included in the orientation and training provided to humanitarian practitioners, including to emergency response teams who are commonly involved in carrying out assessments in the early stages of a humanitarian response.
Barber, R. (2019), "The Ethics of Research in Humanitarian Action
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