Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes

Fieldworkers' study at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust

My study’s focus is on ethical challenges faced by fieldworkers, it is one of its kind here in Malawi because so far there’s no study that has targeted fieldworkers.  The study has delayed for a while due to other reasons beyond my control but at present am happy to share that it’s progressing.  Fieldworkers, Study Coordinators and Principal Investigators are involved, the main objectives are to understand ethical issues surrounding Fieldworkers in their day to day work, their experiences across studies and how this knowledge can help to improve support rendered to this group of staff.

Currently, there are interesting themes coming out from the data that we have collected so far. We are coming across dilemmas that Fieldworkers face while trying to achieve informed participation and targets, reducing participants’ risks in studies, determining when  and not to maintain confidentiality. There are other interesting themes coming, I will be sharing more as the study progresses.

Another interesting experience I have come across while conducting this study is the good reception from Principal Investigators.  I had time to interact with some of the researchers at MLW and many of them showed interest to support the study.  This is very encouraging because eventually it will have institutional buy-in after we have final results.  We are planning to wrap up everything by September and share results at this year’s summer school. 

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Comment by Michael Parker on April 11, 2017 at 17:31

Thanks Elvis. This is really important research. We've all started to realise over the past couple of years that the day-to-day work of fieldworkers and their experiences of encountering and addressing practical ethical challenges is of really crucial importance and it is going to be so interesting to hear about this in a Malawian setting. I am very much looking forward to hearing more about the themes emerging in your research.

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