Two new articles and Call for Papers

Two new open access publications of potential interest. (Asterisk indicates HumEthNet member.)
UNICEF – Office of Research – Innocenti Working Paper
WP-2016-18 | June 2016 ::65 pages
Gabrielle Berman, Jason Hart, Dónal O’Mathúna*, Erica Mattellone, Alina Potts, Claire O’Kane, Jeremy Shusterman and Thomas Tanner
This working paper identifies and explores the issues that should be considered when undertaking ethical research involving children in humanitarian settings. Both the universal (i.e. relevant to all research involving children) and specific ethical issues that may arise when involving children in research in humanitarian settings are examined. This is undertaken through a review of the literature, relevant case studies, and a reflection on the ethical issues highlighted in UNICEF’s Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis (the Ethics Procedure). The key findings of this overview highlight that many of the ethical issues that are present in other settings remain relevant and applicable in the context of humanitarian settings. These include: an institution’s capacity to appropriately and respectfully engage children in research, understanding power relations, securing informed consent and assent, ascertaining harms and benefits, maintaining privacy and confidentiality, and ensuring appropriate communication of findings.
Research Article
M Hunt*, CM Tansey*, J Anderson, RF Boulanger*…
Published: June 21, 2016
Research conducted following natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes is crucial for improving relief interventions. Such research, however, poses ethical, methodological and logistical challenges for researchers. Oversight of disaster research also poses challenges for research ethics committees (RECs), in part due to the rapid turnaround needed to initiate research after a disaster. Currently, there is limited knowledge available about how RECs respond to and appraise disaster research. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the experiences of REC members who had reviewed disaster research conducted in low- or middle-income countries.
We used interpretive description methodology and conducted in-depth interviews with 15 respondents. Respondents were chairs, members, advisors, or coordinators from 13 RECs, including RECs affiliated with universities, governments, international organizations, a for-profit REC, and an ad hoc committee established during a disaster. Interviews were analyzed inductively using constant comparative techniques.
Through this process, three elements were identified as characterizing effective and high-quality review: timeliness, responsiveness and rigorousness. To ensure timeliness, many RECs rely on adaptations of review procedures for urgent protocols. Respondents emphasized that responsive review requires awareness of and sensitivity to the particularities of disaster settings and disaster research. Rigorous review was linked with providing careful assessment of ethical considerations related to the research, as well as ensuring independence of the review process.
Both the frequency of disasters and the conduct of disaster research are on the rise. Ensuring effective and high quality review of disaster research is crucial, yet challenges, including time pressures for urgent protocols, exist for achieving this goal. Adapting standard REC procedures may be necessary. However, steps should be taken to ensure that ethics review of disaster research remains diligent and thorough.
Conflict and Health has announced a call for papers for a special series on the ethics of health research conducted in conflict and other humanitarian settings. See Series 3) at
Thank you to HumEthNet member Dónal O’Mathúna for sharing this information. 

Final Conference of the COST Action IS 1201 “Disaster Bioethics”

Final Conference of the COST Action IS 1201 “Disaster Bioethics”

Dublin City University, Ireland
3-4 October 2016

Call for papers

Those interested in presenting a paper or poster at the conference should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by 31st July 2016. The abstract should be attached as a Word document to an email addressed to with “DUBLIN Abstract” in the Subject line. The email should state clearly if you wish to present orally, or with a poster, or either. Oral presentations will be for 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes Q&A.


Two Projects Funded

It is with great pleasure that we announce the awarding of two grants to founding members of HumEthNet.

The research projects include:

Isolation, quarantine and research in Ebola management: A comparative study of perceptions between communities, outbreak control teams and researchers

Aid when there is “nothing left to offer”: A study of ethics & palliative care during international humanitarian action

r2hc_logo_FOR ONLINE USEBoth research projects are funded by Elrha’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Programme. The R2HC programme aims to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises. The R2HC programme is funded equally by the Wellcome Trust and DFID, with Elrha overseeing the programme’s execution and management.
Visit for more information about their funding programmes.


How do you speak humanitarian?

From our colleagues at:


How do you speak Humanitarian?

> bring greater clarity in humanitarian dialogues
> inspire innovation with a stronger knowledge-policy interface
> improve the quality of strategic and operational responses

CERAH reaches out to its well established network of professionals in the field of humanitarian action. Your expertise and opinion count for CERAH’s latest research project Encyclopedia of Humanitarian ActionTake part in our survey and inform us first hand what the Encyclopedia can do for you and how you might want to get involved in this new collaborative project.

CERAH’s Encyclopedia of Humanitarian Action is designed to offer:

The Encyclopedia will explore the different ways key humanitarian concepts are understood across space, time, cultures and disciplines. Confronting academic findings and operational realities to deliver an enhanced conceptual framework, it will bring greater clarity in humanitarian policy dialogues and support better humanitarian operations.

The Encyclopedia project will become a living co-creation tool for all those concerned by humanitarian action, to reflect on humanitarian concepts and practice, share perspectives and access resources.

Empowering a more informed, effective and cohesive humanitarian movement is our aim. By interrogating how humanitarian concepts are used, we will support the reflective involvement of an expanding range of stakeholders; including the growing ranks of southern actors and the digital generation of humanitarians.

Partnerships are the DNA of the project. CERAH partners, academics, community leaders, as well as other practitioners in humanitarian action are warmly invited to get involved and take our online survey on

Thank you for your participation! Please do not hesitate to share this email and increase the visibility of this online survey.

Learn more here.

Article access till end June

Routledge has set up a campaign in support of World Refugee Day on Monday, 20 June. Four articles from the thematic section of the Canadian Journal of Development Studies on humanitarianism will be free to access online from Monday until the end of June.

Free access till the end of June:…/rcjd-world-refugee-day-2016

Accessible articles include this one from HumEthNet members:
Elysée Nouvet, Caroline Abu-Sada, Sonya de Laat, Christine Wang & Lisa Schwartz (2016): Opportunities, limits and challenges of perceptions studies for humanitarian contexts, Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue canadienne d’études du développement, DOI: 10.1080/02255189.2015.1120659

WADEM + HumEthNet = 2017 Ethics Workshop

Get involved!

HumEthNet is building a strong presence on ethics for WADEM2017 in Toronto.

For more information about ethics@WADEM please contact Renaud Boulanger or Lisa Schwartz.



From the WADEM organizers:

Save the Dates – WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2017!

Toronto, Canada – Save the dates for the WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2017! The Congress, co-hosted by the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the CBRNE Collaborative, will convene from 25-28 April 2017 at the Westin Harbour Castle in the vibrant city of Toronto, Canada.

The Congress will be WADEM’s 20th biennial meeting of global experts to exchange knowledge and best practices on disaster and emergency health. More than 800 health care professionals, researchers, and students from 63 countries participated in the last Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in 2015–and it is expected that more will be Toronto!

In 2015, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) estimated 346 global disasters which resulted in 22,773 deaths, affected 98.6 million people, and caused $66.5 billion (USD) in damage. Migration and population displacement, as well as infectious diseases of international concern, continue to challenge our disaster health and medical response systems in unprecedented ways. WADEM continues to work closely with UNISDR to engage in the health component of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and will share insights at the Congress in Toronto.

WADEM and its international partners strive to improve the scientific basis for disaster and emergency health practice and to establish best practices based on validated evidence. The outcomes of this work protect communities, reduce morbidity and mortality, improve recovery, and enable the development of more resilient communities. Congress participants will have an opportunity to engage in these important discussions in a forum with their peers.

This Congress will feature an exciting and innovative scientific program of plenary sessions, workshops, oral and poster presentations, and social events. Networking will begin pre-congress with opportunities to participate in track development and online discussions. Simulations will be highlighted. Continuing Medical Education (CME) accreditation is planned for the Congress.

Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world with over 100 communities that influence its world-class dining, art, music, and entertainment. Toronto’s international atmosphere inspires creativity and forward thinking.


Call for Case Studies


Call for submissions for case studies:  Refugee Health

The ongoing Syrian civil war ranks as the worst humanitarian catastrophe in modern times. Nearly twelve million Syrians have been forcibly displaced within their own country or have fled to neighbouring countries. Experiences of violence are compounded by significant stressors, such as perilous living conditions, loss of family and social supports, discrimination, exploitation, risk of retraumatization, and lack of access to primary care and/or education caused by violent conflict and long periods in refugee camps.

The Federal Government has implemented a humanitarian program to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada in the next few months ( It has invested tremendous resources to provide “rapid protection for vulnerable Syrian refugees while continuing to protect the health and safety of Canadians” – a precarious balance to maintain given the many challenges of resettlement faced by both the refugee and host populations.

The integration of Syrian refugees into Canadian society and specifically into the health care system raises a number of ethical issues about refugee health, the appropriate role of health care providers, and what constitutes adequate care during the integration process. Ethical issues include questions around the fair allocation of resources, equity of access and quality of care, both between refugees and host populations as well as between refugee populations living in the same country. Other ethical issues include the mental health impact of trauma and war, vulnerability, cultural humility, and medical interpretation.

BioéthiqueOnline  invites submissions of case studies that discuss the ethical issues raised by refugee health, explored from a theoretical lens or from the perspective of how they apply in practice. BioéthiqueOnline ’s objective is to broaden our understanding of refugee health and the interplay of ethical issues in “real-life” contexts.


Case studies should be between 750 and 1200 words (no more than 1500); see examples at: .

The deadline for submissions is 1 October 2016.

Submission :<>



Appel à soumission d’études de cas:  La santé des réfugiés

La guerre civile qui sévit en Syrie est considérée comme la pire catastrophe humanitaire des temps modernes. Près de douze millions de Syriens ont été déplacés de force dans leur propre pays ou ont fui vers les pays voisins. Les expériences de violence sont exacerbées par des facteurs de stress importants. On en cite les conditions de vie périlleuses, la perte de tout soutien familial et social, la discrimination, l’exploitation, le risque d’un nouveau traumatisme et le manque d’accès aux soins primaires et/ou de l’éducation causés par des conflits violents et de longues périodes dans des camps de réfugiés.

Le gouvernement fédéral canadien a mis en œuvre un programme humanitaire qui a permis d’accueillir 25 000 réfugiés syriens au Canada ( Des ressources considérables ont été investies afin de fournir « une protection rapide des réfugiés syriens vulnérables tout en continuant à protéger la santé et la sécurité des Canadiens » – un équilibre précaire à maintenir, compte tenu des nombreux défis de réinsertion auxquels les réfugiés et les populations d’accueil sont confrontés.

L’intégration des réfugiés syriens dans la société canadienne, en particulier dans le système de soins de santé, soulève un certain nombre d’enjeux éthiques portant sur : la santé des réfugiés, le rôle approprié des professionnels de santé, et notamment les soins appropriés qui devraient être fournis au cours d’un processus d’intégration. Les enjeux éthiques comprennent des questions liées à la répartition équitable des ressources, à l’équité d’accès et à la qualité des soins entre les réfugiés et les populations d’accueil, mais également entre les populations réfugiées d’un même pays.

D’autres enjeux éthiques incluent les conséquences des traumatismes et des guerres sur la santé mentale, la vulnérabilité, l’humilité culturelle et l’interprétation médicale.

BioéthiqueOnline  vous invite à soumettre des études de cas qui traitent des enjeux éthiques soulevés par la santé des réfugiés, à partir d’une perspective théorique ou d’un point de vue pratique. L’objectif de BioéthiqueOnline  est d’approfondir notre compréhension concernant la santé des réfugiés et l’interaction des questions éthiques dans la réalité de la vie quotidienne.


Les études de cas devraient être entre 750 et 1200 mots (à ne pas dépasser 1500); pour voir des exemples: .

La date limite pour les soumissions est le 1er octobre 2016.

Soumission :<>

Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe

Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe
Editors: Drue H. Barrett, Leonard H. Ortmann, Angus Dawson, Carla Saenz, Andreas Reis, Gail Bolan
Book. Public Health Ethics Analysis. Volume 3 2016
Published online: April 2016
Abstract / Resumen:
This book, published by Springer as part of its Public Health Ethics Analysis series, is a resource for training on public health ethics that alternates presentations on key public health ethics topics with cases from different parts of the world on various ethical challenges that are inherent to the practice of public health and that illustrate how ethics applies to decision making. The book also includes an introductory section for those new to public health ethics.  
The Pan American Health Organization will publish the book in Spanish soon.
Este libro, publicado en inglés por Springer como parte de la serie Análisis de Ética de la Salud Pública, es un recurso para el entrenamiento en ética de la salud pública que alterna presentaciones sobre los temas más importantes de la ética de la salud pública con casos procedentes de distintos lugares del mundo sobre diversos desafíos éticos que son inherentes a la práctica de la salud pública y que ilustran cómo la ética se aplica en la toma de decisiones. El libro incluye además una sección de introducción a la ética de la salud pública para aquellos que no estén familiarizados con la disciplina. Próximamente la Organización Panamericana de la Salud publicará el libro en español.
How to obtain this report / Como obtener este informe: click here.
Keywords / Palabras clave:
Bioethics; Public Health; Decision Making; Global Health.
Note: The author/source alone is responsible for the views expressed in this article/publication or information resource, and they do not necessarily represent the positions, decisions or policies of the Pan American Health Organization. El autor/fuente es el único responsable por las opiniones expresadas en este artículo/publicación o recurso de información y no necesariamente representan las posiciones, decisiones o políticas de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud.
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Consultancy Opportunity: R2HC Ethics Framework Review**Deadline extended to June 10**

R2HC has funded three rounds of proposal applications since 2013. With the aim to ensure all research funded through the programme is ethically sound, our Ethical Framework has been available as a resource.

We are now looking for a consultant to review the Framework and how it has been used thus far For more information please find a PDF of the TOR here: Ethics_Framework_Review_ToR_Elrha_R2HC. It can also be viewed at 

The deadline for applications has been extended to 10 June 2016.