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Accepted Contribution:

has pdf download What does an effective community ethics review process look like? Reflections from a community-driven research study on early childhood development and women’s agency and choice in Tanzania.  
Ronald Kimambo (Firelight Foundation) Sadaf Shallwani (FIrelight Foundation)

Contribution short abstract:

In a community-driven research study on early childhood and women’s agency in Tanzania, community co-researchers have been conducting ongoing ethics review with key stakeholders to gather input/feedback and ensure appropriateness and relevance of objectives, methods, and potential findings.

Contribution long abstract:

While mainstream approaches to research ethics provide helpful consideration around protecting individuals and ensuring agency/choice, we argue that: they are limited and biased in the Western, Eurocentric assumptions values they reflect, and they overlook the roles of community leaders and organizations who have mandates to represent and protect their communities.

We are facilitating a community-driven research study examining the intersections of early childhood development and women’s agency and choice in Tanzania. Four community-based organizations (CBOs) are serving as community co-researchers in the study. They have been consulting with their communities and together developing the research questions, design, and methods for the study. CBO co-researchers have also been engaging in ongoing “ethics review” with community stakeholders to ensure that: stakeholders provide input and feedback on the objectives, research questions, and methodologies; the proposed questions and data collection methods are appropriate, acceptable, and relevant to communities; and findings are meaningful and useable by stakeholders to improve existing initiatives and/or advocate for change.

CBOs made substantial changes to their proposed questions, design, and methods based on the community ethics review. During a joint research development workshop, community feedback/ guidance was further reviewed and integrated into the overall study objectives, design, and methodology. A full research protocol was developed for submission to a national institutional review board in Tanzania for formal review and clearance.

We will share our process and learnings, and discuss them within the larger discussion of ‘decolonizing research ethics’, and what it means to have genuinely community-driven research or evaluation processes.

Roundtable P67
Reimagining Research Ethics from a Decolonial Lens
  Session 1 Friday 30 June, 2023, -