Sussex academics lead on report to improve safeguarding in international development research

A report aiming to improve safeguarding in international development research has been produced by Sussex academics after they were commissioned by the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR).

Dr David Orr from the School of Education and Social Work (ESW), Dr Synne Dyvik and Dr Gabrielle Daoust from the School of Global Studies, along with Sushri Sangita Puhan and Professor Janet Boddy also at ESW, were commissioned to conduct an independent evidence review into safeguarding issues that may arise in the international development research context.

They were also asked to identify any existing guidance and review its implementation, publishing their findings last week alongside a briefing paper.

Dr David Orr said: “Safeguarding in any type of research is important but particularly so in international development where we’re often dealing with vulnerabilities and power imbalances.

“We hope that this review will contribute to the discussion and development of a common set of guidelines and principles across the sector, which will improve confidence and safety for researchers and those they work with.”

The report came about after major funders of international development research pledged to join efforts to raise safeguarding standards across the sector, working in partnership with the research community. Members of UKCDR include the Department for International Development (DfID), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) and the Wellcome Trust.

Dr Synne Dyvik said: “Safeguarding within research and international development research in particular, has so far been largely neglected.

“Given recent political and media attention to safeguarding, while recognising that this has been a longstanding problem in the aid and development sector, our work feels incredibly timely. We’re hoping that as many stakeholders as possible from within and beyond the research community now get involved to feed back their thoughts on our draft principles and guidelines.”

Stakeholders in the international development research community are invited to get involved in consultations and to provide feedback on the proposed principles and guidance. Anyone interested can email info [at] (p) uk.

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By: Stephanie Allen
Last updated: Tuesday, 25 June 2019

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