Post-Research Ethics Analysis in Humanitarian Crises (PREA)

Grant awarded: £417,000

Lead organisation: Anglia Ruskin University

Partnering organisations: HealthNet TPO; Medecins Sans Frontieres; Public Health in Humanitarian Crises Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Dublin City University

Project length: 2016-2018

Study locations: Nepal; IDP Camp, Southern region of Helmand Communities, Afghanistan; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Refugee camp, Hatay Province, Lebanon; Refugee camp, Gambela Region, Ethiopia; Northern Province communities, Sri Lanka

Principal Investigator: Dónal O’Mathúna


To gather empirical data to address questions about coherence between anticipated research ethics issues when humanitarian health research is planned/ethically reviewed compared to ethical issues experienced when research is conducted. A coherent strategy for post-research ethics analysis (PREA) is lacking and needed to facilitate debriefing of those involved to promote learning-from-experience. To develop a tool for PREA, we will gather data on researchers’/ethics review committees’ (ERC)/stakeholders’ experiences of ethical challenges in research implementation. Findings will become part of an open internet platform to facilitate learning and sharing, to help promote good ethical practice/develop ethics-training materials for humanitarian research.

Expected outcomes:

1. Systematic literature review to strengthen current evidence-base on ethical issues in health research in humanitarian settings
2. PREA tool and algorithm to enhance awareness and knowledge sharing on ethical issues among researchers/ERCs/stakeholders
3. Website to host knowledge sharing platform and PREA tool
4. Mobile application of PREA tool and algorithm
5. OpenAccess publications
6. Adaption and implementation of PREA tool and algorithm across different fields of health research, geographic areas and humanitarian crisis types


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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