223386 Ethical Considerations for Violence Prevention Research in Contexts of Conflict: Lessons Learned in El Salvador

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jacqueline Torres, MPH, MA , School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Knowledge about the practices and challenges surrounding the prevention of violence and human rights violations in developing countries is sorely lacking. Little is known in the international public health literature about such efforts in El Salvador, a country with one of the highest rates of violence worldwide. Methods: A qualitative study of violence prevention efforts in San Salvador, El Salvador was undertaken in September 2009. Using purposive sampling, representatives of national and international NGOs and governmental organizations were recruited for in-depth interviews about violence prevention activities. Since respondents provided organizational information only this project was deemed not to involve “human subjects”. Results: In-depth interviews (n=7) were completed with violence prevention organization staff. Significant ethical considerations exist in reporting research results, including concern for safety of respondents in a context of recent human rights violations, including violations implicating the government. Even with deidentified data, it would be difficult to shield the identity of organizations since they are few in number and carry out unique activities. Conclusion: Despite the need for improved understanding of best practices and challenges in global violence prevention research and despite review from a human subjects review board, ethical considerations specific to contexts of heightened violence and frequent human rights violations continue to challenge the collection and dissemination of information on global efforts to improve these conditions. Potential solutions, including increased respondent control of data, will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify key ethical dilemmas in conducting violence prevention research in global health settings. Discuss possible solutions to ethical dilemmas in global violence prevention research.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a graduate student at the UCLA School of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.