Ethics in global research: What do place, people, principle, and precedent have to do with it?

Paul Kawale (Artist), Corinne Reid (Artist), Clara Calia (Artist), Cristobal Guerra (Artist), Matilda Anderson (Artist), Khama Chibwana (Artist), Lomuthando Nthakomwa, Action Amos (Artist), Liz Grant (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site


The interconnectedness of our world has seen a joint approach to addressing global problems through research that is multidisciplinary, multicultural and highly complex. While this has been the catalyst to the development of ground-breaking solutions for several global challenges, a new problem has surfaced—how we conduct global research ethically. Ethics can simply be defined as “moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.”

An Ethics in Global Research study recently conducted by an international research team including the African Institute for Development Policy’s (AFIDEP) Dr Paul Kawale, sought to identify the challenges and ethical dilemmas experienced in global research projects, as well as explore best practices to support ethical practice. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh initiated a project exploring leadership in ethics, integrity and research conduct in complex Low-to-Middle-Income-Country -United Kingdom partnership projects to develop a toolkit to support researchers as they encounter various ethical challenges in their research. Ultimately, their study found that while the formal process of obtaining ethical approval is essential, it is only the tip of the iceberg. If research is to be fully ethical, the following dimensions need to be considered: place, people, principle and precedent.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputBlog post
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021


  • global ethics
  • ethics toolkit


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethics in global research: What do place, people, principle, and precedent have to do with it?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this