Research ethics discourses, practices and leadership in the Middle East and North Africa – Innovative learning platforms in fragile settings
Modern concepts that govern many of the accepted research ethics practices and principles in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are based on western value systems that do not speak to the region’s diverse local and cultural contexts and realities. Applying research ethics in the region tends to be isolated and heavily focused on biomedical research, with a lack of attention to how political, social, and economic contexts affect researchers and research settings. There is a significant need for researchers, ethics review boards, and other relevant actors to collaborate and address limitations and challenges in how research ethics are applied in non-biomedical fields in the region.
This project will promote a locally grounded and evidence-driven culture of research ethics in MENA by strengthening research in the social sciences, public health, and humanities, with a focus on fragile and challenging contexts. It will support individual and institutional capacity strengthening, interdisciplinary debates, methodological inquiry, small research grants, and localized tools and guidelines development.
In collaboration with other grantees under this initiative, Birzeit University in the West Bank will produce localized, rigorous, and evidence-based research ethics protocols on social sciences, public health, and humanities research; a body of knowledge on existing practice and new innovations in research ethics; and an established community of practice in the region with influence in MENA and beyond.
Through these efforts, the project will promote regional critical thinking and produce practical knowledge and tools that can be adapted to other regions facing similar fragility challenges. Working collaboratively with Canadian, regional, and international bodies on similar issues, the project aims to inform and influence global policies and practices for conducting research in fragile settings.