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Ethical Practices for Research with Humans

As a researcher you will:

Emotional wellbeing

  • Recognize that for people from certain communities, sharing their personal stories and experiences of interacting with the government may bring up difficult emotions and memories tied to violence and/or traumas. As government officials interacting with communities made vulnerable you should first acknowledge the historical relationships, inequity, trauma, and discrimination created by government and institutions.
  • Provide the participants with a debriefing sheet that identifies contact information of local services, within their band or community, if they require support during or after the session.

Anonymity and Privacy

  • Respect the confidentiality of the participants that you speak to, and any other people, or events mentioned in their stories. The anonymity and privacy of people, who share their traumas and experiences, are guaranteed and paramount to any other interests.


  • Meet people at a location where and when they feel most comfortable speaking with you. Due to past experiences with government, some people might not feel comfortable inside a government building.

Sharing Insights and Findings

  • Be open to sharing generalized research insights and findings with participants, where appropriate.


  • Include people in your research with a cross-section of attributes as a way to understand the diverse experiences of people interacting with government services


  • Recruit whenever possible by connecting through support groups or agencies to avoid recruiting individuals who may experience emotional or psychological trauma as a result of the research process. People in certain communities may have past trauma associated with government and the research might expose vulnerabilities.