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Research ethics discourses, practices, leadership in the Middle East and North Africa – Supporting research and training 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 initiative 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. This project will support individual and institutional capacity strengthening, interdisciplinary debates, methodological inquiry, small research grants, and the development of localized tools and guidelines.

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences, in collaboration with other grantees under this initiative, will produce localized, rigorous, and evidence-based research ethics protocols on social sciences, public health, and humanities research. They will also produce a body of knowledge on existing practice and new innovations in research ethics, with a focus on fragility and vulnerable populations, and establish a community of practice with influence in the region and beyond.

These efforts will promote regional critical thinking and practical knowledge and tools that can be adapted to other regions facing similar challenges of fragility. By 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.

Project ID
Project Status
48 months
IDRC Officer
Chaitali Sinha
Total Funding
CA$ 398,000.00
Middle East
Institution Country
Project Leader
Moushira El Geziri
The Arab Council for the Social Sciences