North-South research partnerships are a critical means of advancing global health research. However, research partners from the Global South have described feeling they were included to full funding requirements, and offered only token roles, saying “we were there to colour the soup.” Despite good intentions, researchers from the Global North often fall into patterns of tokenism. This 2-page report captures key lessons learned from our experiences of and data collected from two elrha-r2hc funded studies: (1) Aid when there is ‘nothing left to offer’: A study of ethics & palliative care during international humanitarian action, and (2) Isolation, quarantine, and research in Ebola management: A comparative study of stakeholder perceptions and experiences. These reflections point to possible strategies to move toward the goal of authentic partnerships during humanitarian health research. It reflects the reality that the overwhelming majority of transnational partnerships are collaborations in which researchers from Global North countries partner with researchers from what are essentially “research site” countries in the Global South.
Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group. (2019). From Tokenism to Meaningful Partnerships. Isis A. Harvey designer. Available Online on the Humanitarian Health Ethics Website.
Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group. (2019). Du symbolism aux partenariats authentiques. Traduction [de l’anglais]: Aziza Mohamadhossen. Isis A. Harvey conception graphique. Disponible sur le site web de Humanitarian Health Ethics.
“Paul Ricoeur was one of the leading philosophers in the twentieth century, writing on a wide variety of topics. From these, his work on translation and on ethics provided suitable ways to examine ethical issues in crisis translation. In particular, his concept of “linguistic hospitality” provides an important lens through which translation ethics can be examined. In addition, Ricoeur’s approach to ethics emphasized relational and justice dimensions which are crucial to examine in humanitarian settings.”
A little over a year ago, several researchers working on ethical and justice based questions arising in global health emergencies (health crises of global concern) and in other humanitarian crises came together on a Wellcome Trust funded project entitled: “Vulnerability and Justice in Global Health Emergency Regulation: Developing Future Ethical Models.” Our key concerns were around how inequalities, vulnerabilities and various forms of injustices are often reinforced in these contexts, and how future public health responses could be better attuned to these issues.
On this platform, we’re aiming to explore issues around vulnerability and justice during global health emergencies and humanitarian crises through a range of media:
Short animations that explain concepts that are central to our project, such as structural injustice, epistemic injustice, the importance of denaturalising disasters, among others.
Blog-like applied illustrations of the relevance of central concepts in real-world scenarios and examples.
A podcast, “Just Emergencies”, where we sit down with humanitarian workers and researchers to talk about their work and interests.
A series of invited blog posts, which capture the knowledge and experiences of a diverse range of people who share with us the pressing issues of working in the global health and humanitarian sectors.
A developing section dedicated to modelling for global health emergencies in the future.
A list of articles, books and websites that might be of use to those researching, teaching or generally interested in these topics.
We’re hoping that this website is a useful resource to academics, humanitarian workers, students, and the interested public alike. Ideally, we would like this to develop into a platform where researchers and humanitarian actors can engage with these topics and in dialogue with us.
If you are willing to share your thoughts and experience as practitioners or researcher in the form of a blog post, or would like to talk about your global health emergency or humanitarian crises experience on the podcast, please get in touch at email@example.com.
New content will be posted on a regular basis, so we warmly invite you to sign up to our newsletter. You can also follow us on twitter (@GanguliMitra)
On March 14, McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact hosted its annual Research Day.
The HHErg was well represented this year with two poster presentations (below) and an oral presentation entitled, “Dying in the Margins: Palliative Care, Humanitarian Crises and the Intersection of Global and Local Health Systems.”
Fear and dread of Ebola is shared by patients, healthcare providers and the general public. Some of this fear comes from a lack of understanding of how the disease is experienced combatted. Follow this link to read a commentary by HHERG’s Sonya de Laat, Postdoctoral Fellow in Humanitarian Health Ethics at McMaster University, on the role of a television set in contributing to a change in perception about Ebola Virus Disease.