Safeguarding in International Development Research

This webinar from 01 July follows up on UKCDR’s publication in April of its Guidance on Safeguarding in International Development Research. It refers, too, to the timely ‘companion piece’ suggesting practical measures during COVID-19.


It recaps the guidance document, and provides an opportunity to see how other groups have contributed to it, and work with it. These include DfID, UKRI, Wellcome Trust, Department of Health & Social Care, and the Anti-Slavery Knowledge Network at the University of Liverpool (along with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine).

The gist of the session is that the approach is not prescriptive, but rather helps a research project team co-develop solutions that suit its context through recognising various sources of expertise and experience. The term ‘preventing harm in research’ is gaining currency (see UKRI’s Preventing Harm in Research & Innovation from May) possibly in recognition that much terminology around safeguarding (and even the word itself) does not translate well, can be conflated with ethical issues around good research practice, or raises concerns that it represents a notion originating from the Global North.

There is a Q&A section (01:04:00) in which the following issues are addressed:

  • How to develop equitable partnerships when notions of individual rights or legislation (around, say, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ issues, attitudes to disability and religious or academic freedoms) are not mutually compatible.
  • The advantages of facilitating greater leadership from the Global South through, for example, joint lead applications or local centres of excellence.
  • Learning resources and training opportunities that are directly relevant to research projects. (Much present provision relates more to humanitarian aid work.)
  • How some aspects of safeguarding fit within the remit of the ethics committee, while others address wider issues that may have no relation to the subject of your research.

If you’d like to develop any of these issues further on your Changing the Story project, then contact