Ethical Considerations for Research (General)

It is the policy of the International Development Research Centre (hereinafter called the Centre) that Research Work involving human subjects or animals be carried out in accordance with high ethical standards. The signature of the Recipient on the Research Support Grant Agreement (hereinafter called the Grant) signifies that the Recipient fully complies with these standards.

The Recipient shall immediately report to the Centre any difficulties it encounters in complying with the ethical standards described below. In the final technical report, the Recipient shall describe how it complied with the ethical standards in carrying out the Project.

1. Information Gathering

The Recipient agrees to comply with the following principles which aim at protecting the dignity and privacy of every individual who, in the course of the Research Work carried out under the Project, will be requested to provide personal or commercially valuable information about him/herself or others (hereinafter referred to as a subject of research):

a) Before an individual becomes a subject of research, he/she shall be notified of:

  • the aims, methods, anticipated benefits and potential hazards of the research;
  • his/her right to abstain from participation in the research and his/her right to terminate at any time his/her participation; and
  • terminate at any time his/her participation; and
  • the confidential nature of his/her replies.

b) No individual shall become a subject of research unless he/she is given the notice referred to in the preceding paragraph and provides a freely given consent that he/she agrees to participate. No pressure or inducement of any kind shall be applied to encourage an individual to become a subject of research.

c) The identity of individuals from whom information is obtained in the course of the Project shall be kept strictly confidential. At the conclusion of the Project, any information that reveals the identity of individuals who were subjects of research shall be destroyed unless the individual concerned has consented in writing to its inclusion beforehand. No information revealing the identity of any individual shall be included in the final report or in any other communication prepared in the course of the Project, unless the individual concerned has consented in writing to its inclusion beforehand.

d) When children are involved in the Project, it is the policy of the Centre that special care be taken to ensure that their participation is undertaken in accordance with high ethical standards. Accordingly, in addition to the requirements of paragraphs 1(a) – 1(c) being complied with, children shall not be allowed to participate unless:

  • their parents or guardians have been counselled with respect to the children's participation in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 1(a) – 1(c); and
  • their parents or guardians have given their free, explicit, and informed consent to the participation of the children in the Project. Parents or guardians shall have the right to withdraw their children from the Project at any time.

2. Projects Involving Biological Knowledge

The Centre supports the objectives of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular that of promoting the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Recipients involved in any Project that may entail the use or dissemination of knowledge to which a person or group of persons may claim moral or legal rights, will not take steps that would prejudice such claims or diminish their value. In particular, the Recipient will not profit or act in such a way as to facilitate profit by third parties through the commercialization or dissemination of such knowledge without the concurrence of the Centre. Where the use or dissemination of such knowledge is envisioned, the Recipient will ensure that the moral or legal rights of any potential claimants are respected, through consultation with them and compensation to them where available. This section will endure beyond the termination of the Project and of the Grant.

Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia