Ethical Framework

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Our ethical framework sets forth the principles and values that we strive to honor in our research, practice, and relationships with partners. The ethical framework is a companion for all members of the C2P Lab—it guides our internal process and communicates to our partners and donors the spirit in which we are committing to the building of peace. Our framework is a living document, one which we engage with in all stages of a project through planning to execution and beyond. In that way, our ethical framework is designed as a daily practice which demands consistent application, reflection, and reaction. Maintaining sincere commitment to this strategy is crucial to our vision of transformational change. The framework is responsive to changes and is updated in accordance with our professional and personal learning and growth.

Our work is guided by our commitments to:

  1. Participatory Research
    1. C2P seeks to maintain equal and collaborative relationships between the lab, its donors, and local partners.
    2. C2P seeks to be sensitive to how disparities of power and/or privilege affect the processes and outcomes of partnerships. Specifically, we imagine collaboration as a process of co-creation and walking alongside our partners and the communities we work with.
    3. As part of a broader ‘Ethics of Humility’ and desire to recognize the limits of our own knowledge, C2P values indigenous knowledges and local ways of knowing as central to the building of peace. We believe that transformational change prevails when local partners are empowered and valued as the key stewards of their own futures.
  2. Conflict Sensitivity
    1. C2P takes conflict sensitivity and the heightened possibility of negative but unintended consequences in conflict-affected places seriously. Our practice of conflict sensitivity emphasizes our responsibility to the people and communities we work with, particularly vulnerable populations in conflict-affected areas. This means safeguarding communities through responsible research practices (anonymity, confidentiality, data security, accountability, and transparency, for example), as well as consistent practices of reflexivity. In particular, we see reflexivity as crucial to our study of and relationship with spaces of sustained violence, placing front and center the lived reality of those experiencing conflict.
    2. In an effort to put vulnerable peoples first, our lab screens for and makes every effort to avoid sending researchers/ practitioners to the field who are “trauma tourists.” As part of this commitment, C2P develops educational and training tools to sensitize and prepare researchers before entering the field.
  3. Holistic Understanding of Risk
    1. C2P’s ethics reviews seek to center both the impact of our work on individuals as well as the impact on communities as a whole. In other words, where standardized approaches to research ethics focus almost entirely on individual research subjects, we aim to consider the impact of research on the well-being of individuals and groups of people, particularly vulnerable and marginalized populations.
    2.  C2P recognizes the high-risk conditions that our partner organizations often operate in. As such, C2P tailors its approaches to research, data-collection, and practice to ensure that the safety of our partners and the communities we work with is top priority.
  4. Research for the Common Good
    1. C2P produces research that serves the practical needs of local partners and conflict-affected communities. We value deep listening and attentiveness to the voices of local partners to ensure the most contextually-useful tools and standards are implemented.
    2. We view ethical rigor as paramount to achieving common good, which means implementing research methods that do not undermine the path to or spirit of peacebuilding.
    3. C2P is sincere in its support for the building of peace communities and conducts research primarily for the sake of pursuing more peaceful futures for the communities we work with.  

Ethical framework reviewed in February 2020