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Safeguarding and wellbeing

DIRECT LINKS TO PROJECTS THAT HELP WITH SPECIFIC INTERESTS

The Social Science Research Council in New York has supported a programme of research on Drugs, Security, and Democracy with fieldwork in Central America and the Caribbean. Social scientists have faced the challenge of operating in areas affected by chronic police and non-state violence. A growing number of scholars are conducting research on high-risk topics, gathering data on communities that experience conflict; writing and publishing on these difficult and sensitive issues; and developing and implementing programs to deal with the needs of communities affected by violence. The literature on safe practices for those working in high-risk environments remains thin. The DSD Working Papers on Research Security series seeks to address this deficit by examining a range of research security concerns, providing a framework to help those working in the region consider how they can enhance their own safety as well as the safety of their associates and research participants. The lessons are transferable to research in other conflict or high-risk zones, anywhere in the world.

This was a report on researcher safety prepared for the (UK) National Centre for Research Methods  in 2008. Although it is now quite old, it remains a useful resource. It has been the basis for NCRM training events, although none appear to have been offered recently and there are no online training packages.

Social Research Association

The (UK) Social Research Association has developed a Code of Safety for its members in carrying out or managing research projects. The code focuses on  safety  in  interviewing  or  observation  in  private settings  but  is of relevance to working in unfamiliar environments in general. The  aims are  to  point  out  safety issues  which  need  to  be  considered  in  the  design  and  conduct  of  social research  in  the  field  and  to  encourage  procedures  to  reduce  the  risk.  The intention  is   not  to  be  alarmist  about  potential  dangers   but  to  minimise anxieties or insecurities which might affect the quality of the research.