In late 2016, Elrha commissioned a review, revision and update of the R2HC Ethical Framework by Curry, Waldman and Caplan. The revision and update consisted of: a desk-based review of the existing framework and feedback on its use, a literature review, an online survey and a stakeholder consultation. Based on cumulative findings from this work, a revised and updated framework is proposed here.
This new framework was developed to provide: a) ethical guidance specifically for humanitarian health research, but with wider relevance for other humanitarian research and potentially even humanitarian practice; b) a tool which encourages reflection, inductive and deliberative thinking and proactive response to ethical issues that arise in developing protocols, reviewing proposals and conducting humanitarian health research; c) interconnected, overlapping and repeated opportunities for reflection on ethical challenges based on an assumption that these reflections are guided by context specific factors; d) a tool which has been developed through a firm grounding of the belief that reflection on ethical issues should be done throughout research projects, including before, during and after the research; e) a user-friendly, stand-alone tool, easily detachable from other accompanying literature. T
he new version of the R2HC Ethics Framework is graphically presented as a series of ‘steps’ without any hierarchical relationships. An explanatory section precedes the graphical framework to act as guidance for its usage and formative structure.