Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings

Mission

Research partnerships between high-income and lower-income settings can be highly advantageous for both parties. Or they can lead to ethics dumping, the practice of exporting unethical research practices to lower-income settings.

This Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings counters ethics dumping by:

  • providing guidance across all research disciplines
  • presenting clear, short statements in simple language to achieve the highest possible accessibility
  • focusing on research collaborations that entail considerable imbalances of power, resources and knowledge
  • using a new framework based on the values of fairness, respect, care and honesty
  • offering a wide range of learning materials and affiliated information to support the code

Those applying the code will be researchers and research funders who oppose double standards in research and support long-term equitable research relationships between partners in lower-income and high-income settings based on fairness, respect, care and honesty. 

In addition to the code, this website offers a wide range of learning materials related to these principles.

Long-term Mission to counter Ethics Dumping

Personal note from Prof. Doris Schroeder, the Lead Author of the Global Code

TRUST is the very exciting high-point of 14 years of engagement on ethics dumping. In 2004, leaders of the San community in South Africa first explained to me how they felt exploited by researchers. Representatives of sex workers in Nairobi told me about their challenges in 2007. Trusted spokespeople were essential in all engagements. Without Roger Chennells and Joshua Kimani, none of this would have happened.

From left: Andries Steenkamp, Petrus Vaalbooi, Doris Schroeder, Collin Louw, Miltos Ladikas and Roger Chennells at the front, Kalahari 2004
From left: Andries Steenkamp, Petrus Vaalbooi, Doris Schroeder, Collin Louw, Miltos Ladikas and Roger Chennells at the front, Kalahari 2004
Doris Schroeder with Andries Steenkamp, Petrus Vaalboi and Jan Pietersen ( front), 2014
Doris Schroeder with Andries Steenkamp, Petrus Vaalboi and Jan Pietersen ( front), 2014

When Wolfgang Burtscher announced in a 2018 European Parliament workshop that the TRUST code would become a reference document for Horizon 2020, a long-term research dream came true. Wow! And, it was a big relief as well. Whilst we were trying various avenues over the years, two inspiring San leaders died without seeing the code succeed: Andries Steenkamp and Mario Mahongo. I wish they had known…. In June 2018 our global code was endorsed by one of the biggest research funders in the world, the European Commission (EC). I am extremely grateful to the magnificent team of authors and the TRUST group for making this possible. TRUST will probably stay my favourite project of all times!

Andries Steenkamp
Andries Steenkamp
Trailer en CPA Mario_2
Mario Mahongo

Code Authors

This Code was drafted under the leadership of Professor Doris Schroeder (UCLan) by:

Joyce Adhiambo PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Chiara Altare ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM (ACF)

Fatima Alvarez-Castillo UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, MANILA

Pamela Andanda UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND (WITS)

François Bompart DRUGS FOR NEGLECTED DISEASES INITIATIVE (DNDI)

Francesca I. Cavallaro UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION-UNESCO (UNESCO)

Kate Chatfield CENTRE FOR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS (UCLAN)

Roger Chennells THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

David Coles  CENTRE FOR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS (UCLAN)

Julie Cook  CENTRE FOR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS (UCLAN)

Julia Dammann THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

Amy Azra Dean, MEDIA PRACTICE (UCLAN)

Dafna Feinholz UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION-UNESCO (UNESCO)

Solveig Fenet INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE (INSERM)

François Hirsch INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE (INSERM)

Carel IJsselmuiden COUNCIL ON HEALTH RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (COHRED)

Sandhya Kamat FORUM FOR ETHICS REVIEW COMMITTEES IN INDIA (FERCI)

Rosemary Kasiba PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

John Kiai PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Joshua Kimani PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Mihalis Kritikos SCIENTIFIC FORESIGHT UNIT (STOA)-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESEARCH

Olga Kubar SAINT-PETERSBURG PASTEUR INSTITUTE

Nandini K. Kumar FORUM FOR ETHICS REVIEW COMMITTEES IN INDIA (FERCI)

Miltos Ladikas  CENTRE FOR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS (UCLAN)

Klaus M. Leisinger FOUNDATION GLOBAL VALUES ALLIANCE (FGVA)

Collin Louw THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

Gwenaelle Luc ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM (ACF)

Mario Mahongo THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI) 

Michael Makanga EUROPEAN & DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CLINICAL TRIALS PARTNERSHIP (EDCTP)

David Morton SCHOOL BIOSCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

Ngaya Munuo UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN (UCT)

Vasantha Muthuswami FORUM FOR ETHICS REVIEW COMMITTEES IN INDIA (FERCI)

Peter Mwaura PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Dieynaba N’diaye ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM (ACF)

Jaci van Niekerk UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN (UCT)

Catherine Njoki PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Holger Postulart COUNCIL ON HEALTH RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (COHRED)

Johannes Rath INTERNATIONAL BIOSAFETY AND SECURITY ADVISOR (EU,UN)

Zeka Shiwarra THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

Karin M. Schmitt FOUNDATION GLOBAL VALUES ALLIANCE (FGVA)

Miriam Shuchman ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Michelle Singh EUROPEAN & DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CLINICAL TRIALS PARTNERSHIP (EDCTP)

Giorgio Sirugo GENETICS UNIT, OSPEDALE SAN PIETRO FATEBENEFRATELLI

Leana Snyders THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

Andries Steenkamp THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

Hennie Swart THE SOUTH AFRICAN SAN INSTITUTE TRUST (SASI)

Elena Tavlaki SIGNOSIS SPRL (SIGNOSIS)

Urmila Thatte FORUM FOR ETHICS REVIEW COMMITTEES IN INDIA (FERCI)

Jacintha Toohey COUNCIL ON HEALTH RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (COHRED)

Anthony Tukai PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Josephine Waithera PARTNERS FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (PHDA)

Jane Wathuta UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND (WITS)

Paul Woodgate WELLCOME TRUST

Rachel Wynberg UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN (UCT)

Yandong Zhao CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPMENT (CASTED)

We gratefully acknowledge valuable input on the code from the following research funders: Wellcome Trust, Global Forum on Bioethics in Research, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Medical Research Council UKRI, WHO TDR and European Commission.

The development of the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 664771