Research ethics, for us at UiO, is defined as “values, principles, norms and institutional arrangements, which together contribute to honest, truthful and accountable research. While the basic ethos of research is the search for truth, at the same time, the research ethics emphasize that research has a further social responsibility. Research ethics is also about the relationship between researchers, and the relationship between researchers and other people.
Following the institutional research guidelines, under the project we have worked in creating common collective knowledge and solving challenges that the community in pilot sites face. Our research has not violated the rights of people in any way – civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights. We have ensured that scientific and technological development has in no way abused to weaken individuals’ self-determination, human dignity and democratic rights.
We as researcher have an independent responsibility for the research being able to benefit society directly or indirectly and to minimize risk.
Ethical issues related to implementation and use of ICTs is important since these issues constitutes the conditions for human vulnerabilities and values. In our pilots we have considered the intrinsic relation between ethics and technology is important to be established, as we are well aware of ethical challenges that the use of technologies can pose, especially to the vulnerable populations, in fragile contexts.
The ethical framework designed for the pilots include:
- Setting 8 member Project Ethics Board set-up.
- Members from domain of : development studies, human rights, security systems, informatics, ICTs for development, anthropology
- Minimum Ethical Standards for ICT4D Research (MESICT4D) was taken as a guide for ethical check of the pilots
- Self-appraisal of each pilot was done by UiO using MESICT4D
- This self was submitted to the Ethics Board for review
- Three rounds of ethical checks were completed for Kenya and Guatemala pilots
- Feedback from Ethics Board was incorporated in the pilot implementation