Shifting from research governance to research ethics: A novel paradigm for ethical review in community-based research

Paper by Jay Marlowe and Martin Tolich: “This study examines a significant gap in the role of providing ethical guidance and support for community-based research. University and health-based ethical review committees in New Zealand predominantly serve as ‘gatekeepers’ that consider the ethical implications of a research design in order to protect participants and the institution from harm. However, in New Zealand, community-based researchers routinely do not have access to this level of support or review. A relatively new group, the New Zealand Ethics Committee (NZEC), formed in 2012, responds to the uneven landscape of access for community-based research. By offering ethical approval inclusive of the review of a project’s study design outside institutional settings, NZEC has endeavoured to move beyond a gatekeeping research governance function to that of bridge-building. This change of focus presents rich possibilities but also a number of limitations for providing ethical review outside conventional institutional contexts. This paper reports on the NZEC’s experience of working with community researchers to ascertain the possibilities and tensions of shifting ethics review processes from research governance to a focus on research ethics in community-based participatory research….(More)”