Background Materials


The links below point to existing frameworks and guidelines that discuss ethics in research areas that are related to ICTD

Our initial review of related research ethics frameworks has led us to select the following frameworks for use in the workshop.

The UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) maintain a substantial list of resources for ethical guidance of research

The University of Oxford maintains a list of links to UK professional associations and their guidance

Some other background resources

Previous work in ICTD has also raised interesting ethical debates.

  • An workshop on ethics in ICTD in 2009 collated many resources and stories that highlight ethical challenges
  • Dearden (2013) See No Evil. Ethics in an Interventionist ICTD, ITID 9(2) examines some questions
  • Sterling and Rangaswamy (2010). Constructing informed consent in ICT4D research. ICTD 2010 Conference deals with the complexity of informed consent for dynamic research projects in an ICT4D setting.
  • The Development Ethics Association issued the Mérida declaration in 1989
  • The African Information Ethics Conference of 2007 adopted the Tshwane Declaration
  • A 2006 workshop on Practical Ethics in Participatory Geographical Information Systems (PGIS) was held in Durham, UK
  • The creators of Barbie Savior and the Radi-Aid have created a social media guide with some helpful questions to ask before posting images and stories ‘from the field’. The guide is aimed at volunteers, but the questions are all worth asking.
  • The Engine Room have produced a useful handbook on Responsible Data management in development projects
  • The US National Research Council conducted a workshop exploring Research Ethics in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies in 2002. The outputs are published in this report.
  • The Post-Research Ethics Analysis project are developing tools to assist health researchers working in humanitarian crisis situations to conduct reflective analysis and learning about the ethical challenges that arise in practice, and their differences from challenges identified prior to research.
  • Oxfam have taken a values driven approach to developing policy regarding data collection and management.
  • The Global Indigenous Data Alliance have developed the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance
  • The International Society for Ethnobiology has, over many years, developed a code of ethics with strong input from some of the indigenous peoples that ISE members work with. ISE Code of Ethics
  • The SensJus project has used clever graphic design to create some more accessible consent forms and project information sheets. These visual consent forms have been shared under a creative-commons, non-commercial license.
  • Nakkash, R., Makhoul, J., & Afifi, R. (2009). Obtaining informed consent: observations from community research with refugee and impoverished youth. Journal of Medical Ethics, 35(10), 638-643. This article shows the limits of collecting consent in some surveys conducted in Lebanon’s Palestinian camps.