IASC Recommendations for Conducting Ethical Mental Health and Psychosocial Research in Emergency Settings, 2014

Published Date

Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is a priority component of any emergency response. MHPSS should be based on knowledge, available resources and effectiveness of interventions. To achieve this research has a key role to play. 

Recognizing the complexities of emergencies and the need for ethical recommendations to support MHPSS research in emergency settings, this specific guidance was developed to: 

.  Ensure MHPSS research in emergencies benefits affected people; 

.  Design research to fill knowledge gaps in MHPSS theory and practice in emergencies; 

.  Avoid bad practice, such as research without satisfactory consent of participants and to; 

.  Better understand how to manage ethical challenges in MHPSS research during emergencies.

What is meant by ‘research’? Research is the systematic collection and analysis of data. It applies to qualitative or ethnographic data (that can be observed) or quantitative data (that can be measured). This includes needs assessments; psychiatric epidemiology (study of distribution and cause of mental illness); M&E; social sciences research; as well as data collected for advocacy purposes.