The authors propose an ethical framework to (1) guide development of research designs and protocols intended for implementation in humanitarian crises and complex emergency contexts to help ensure their ethical viability, and (2) support ethical review of such protocols by independent ethical review bodies (REBs, IRBs), funders, and other organizations of interest, and (3) serve general educational purposes and enhance public understanding of the issues involved in and ethical principles guiding research in such settings. The framework is designed as a tool – offering a practical and easily implementable approach in which key ethical principles are considered in a clustered, hierarchical order. Implementation and assessment of the utility of this approach by researchers and by REBs/IRBs considering research protocols involving humanitarian crisis setting will guide further refinement of this ethical framework.
Curry, D.R.; Waldman, R.J.; Caplan, A.L. An Ethical Framework for the development and review of health research proposals involving humanitarian contexts. Project final report January 2014. Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA), Cardiff, UK (2014) 57 pp.