A community dedicated to exchanging ideas and experiences about field research and ethics in conflict, post-conflict, authoritarian, and other difficult fieldwork settings, including contexts of systemic and symbolic violence.
Safety and Security of Researcher and Research Subjects: Trauma
• How do researchers cope with the trauma their research might create in the respondents?
o Make use of training and manuals developed by field organizations, such as ICRC
o Provide avenues for the respondents to interact with each other, such as through group discussions, or peer groups
• How do researchers cope with their own stress or trauma when conducting research in the field? How can training be given in advance? How can researchers obtain the needed emotional distance to write up research results which were traumatic to obtain?
o Discussions with peers
o Regular breaks from field work
o Debriefing on returning
• When should the question of the value of the research be raised in relation to the dangers it may pose to the researcher and the respondents? Before? What if it only becomes apparent in the middle of conducting research?
• Is the timing of when the research is conducted in relation to the conflict an important consideration in relation to the safety of the respondents? How are safety concerns different if the research is conducted immediately after the end of the conflict, or ten years later? How do these concerns change over time?
• What kind of training are students given in this type of research, and how might that be improved?