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Ethical research in conflict and humanitarian crisis

A project setting out a manifesto for ethical research in South Sudan.

With ongoing conflicts and humanitarian crises, South Sudan has no regulation of its extensive and often exploitative aid and conflict research industry. Thousands of internationally-funded research projects, generally led by external consultants and Global North academics, generally prioritise urgent research outputs to inform humanitarian action.

This is often at the expense of the welfare, pay, safety, equality and careers of South Sudanese researcher staff, and the expense of emotional cost, time and fatigue of community participants. This unequal research economy undermines the trust and community needed for truly collaborative and innovative research, accurate and ethical data, funding applications, and international partnerships.

This project brings together the South Sudanese research workers and community participants, with South Sudanese academics and international researchers, to set out a manifesto for ethical research and collaboration in South Sudan. It builds on initial conversations about ethics, fair pay and safety within the Rift Valley Institute, a regional research institute centred on promoting local knowledge and research communities.

Through a research ethics summit, the manifesto, and a series of three ‘in conversation’ podcasts on key ethical issues involving both South Sudanese researchers and community participants in research, the project set out paths for ethical research collaborations.

Project lead

Dr Nicki Kindersley

Dr Nicki Kindersley

Lecturer in African History

+44 (0)29 2087 9901

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