Navigating Ethical Dilemmas in Education in Emergencies (EIE): A Compendium of Vignettes for Research & Practice
Despite careful planning and preparation to initiate Education in Emergencies (EiE) research and programming in crisis-affected contexts, often unforeseen challenges emerge. Uncertainty about these challenges necessitates researchers and practitioners to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be adaptive and responsive to emerging dilemmas. These challenges are questions of positionality, identity, power, purpose, and individual and collective commitments to research, program participants, and communities. And yet, researchers and practitioners rarely have opportunities to formally learn about, reflect on, and plan for the inevitable ethical challenges that emerge while conducting fieldwork and education programming in crisis- and conflict-affected settings. This is particularly worrisome for individuals new to EiE who frequently find work in some of the most difficult situations with minimal experience and mentorship to navigate the challenges that arise.
To bridge this gap, a group of researchers, practitioners, and graduate students contributed to a curated collection of 18 short vignettes based on the real-life challenges and ethical dilemmas they faced while completing education in emergencies-related work across a number of world regions, including the following countries: Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, State of Palestine, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Yemen. By integrating real-life scenarios, this compendium aims to strengthen and support emerging and future researchers and practitioners’ skills to identify, reflect on, and mitigate current and future ethical dilemmas accompanying educational research and programming in crisis- and conflict-affected settings.
This compendium of vignettes was created to:
- Highlight the range of issues, dilemmas, and opportunities that researchers and practitioners need to consider beyond day-to-day data collection and programmatic activities as they prepare to conduct fieldwork and program activities in crisis- and conflict-affected settings.
- Illustrate through real-life scenarios the many challenges that can arise and help participants think through and plan for constructive strategies and solutions that mitigate harm to participants and themselves.
- Enable opportunities for individuals to learn and reflect on how their identities, institutional affiliations, and other positionalities influence research and programming on education in crisis- and conflict-affected settings.
- Provide instructors and trainers with a handy guidance note to accompany the vignettes.