published on democracyinafrica.org 16.03.2020
The Belmont Report from 1978 outlines the fundamental principles that should guide ethical human subject research worldwide. The ethics guidelines of many scientific associations (e.g., the American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association) reflect the Belmont Report and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) take these principles as a basis to assess whether proposed research projects meet ethical standards. However, the focus of the application of these principles predominantly lies on safeguarding and protecting study participants. While participants are usually the most vulnerable stakeholders and protecting them is of primary importance, research staff both from the Global South and North have largely been neglected in this ethical discussion.