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Current Dragons’ Den Projects

Women's Participation in Climate-Sensitive Infectious Diseases Policy in South America

The greater degree of vulnerability of women to climate-health impacts demands their inclusion as a target group in adaptation policies and their inclusion in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of climate-health policy. However, formal and informal participation is often constrained by gender. In the South American region, progress in this direction is still limited.

In this project, we aim to identify the ethical training that women's organisations' members need to participate in developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating national climate-health adaptation policies. Women's participation can significantly contribute to embedding the climate-health policy of ethics. Women´s contribution to the identification of necessities, priorities, and pathways toward climate-resilient health policies is particularly relevant in the area of climate-sensitive infectious disease.

In this project, we will conduct a series of ethics conversations with members of women's organisations in South America to map the key aspects of climate-sensitive infectious disease ethics. For this, we developed a method that we call Transdisciplinary Reflective Equilibrium. 

This method integrates dynamic public reflective equilibrium with transdisciplinary research. It involves 1) an ethical conversation with social impact, in which 2) participants' views have equal value and are not just supplies for philosophical reflection. In these conversations, 3) participants' views are relevant in two moments: a. in the identification of the relevant ethical principles, the background theories, and the considered moral judgments at stake and b. in the revision of the principles and judgements. 4) the outcome of this conversation is normative rather than statistical.

Project team:

  • Romina Rekers, University of Graz, Austria/ FLACSO, Argentina
  • Carlos Yabar, San Martín de Porres University and National University of Trujillo, Peru
  • Cintia Rodríguez Garat, FLACSO, Argentina
  • María Victoria Gerbaldo, National University of Córdoba, Argentina
  • Marcia Videla Ayala, Fundación Ética Climática y Desarrollo, Paraguay
  • Lucas Rekers, National University of Tres de Febrero/Fundación Ética Climática y Desarrollo, Argentina

Bioethics & Climate Change: Climate-Health Adaptation Strategies in South America

Informing Research Priorities in Africa through Effective Altruism

  • Project lead: Dr Alex Hinga, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme
  • Project collaborators: Shanthi Levanita, GloPID-R Research and Policy Team, Policy and Practice Research Group, Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford, UK ; Dr Sanda Umar Ismail, University of the West of England
  • Project Summary:
    Research institutions in Africa conduct a wide range of research projects on issues related to the biomedical, clinical, social and ethical aspects of health and wellbeing. The type of health-related research conducted is influenced by disease burden, research capacity, global health politics, and availability of funding among other factors. But the discrepancy in disease burden, research and funding is well recognized where diseases that cause the most human suffering do not receive a proportionate amount of funding and research attention.
    This project will explore how the ideas and networks of effective altruism can be applied to study communities’ needs assessment, research prioritization and research funding decisions.
    This project will involve community members, research staff, effective altruism experts and funders, with effective altruism as the overarching conceptual framework. It will develop a short film to assess and explore community health needs that could benefit from research. A one-day workshop with community members and researchers will use the short film to induce discussions on the responsibilities of the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme to the local community in Kilifi. Finally, a webinar with research staff, effective altruism experts, community representatives and funders will explore how effective altruism may inform decisions on research funding and research prioritization in Africa.

Procurement law and bioethics in Vietnam: A Post Pandemic Landscape

  • Project Lead: Hai Thanh Doan - UEH College of Economics, Law and Government & University of Otago
  • Summary: Procurement issues yield ethical and legal issues as to the structure and responsibilities of health care system in Vietnam and the healthcare received by patients. Whilst a pluralistic approach to social issues, including healthcare, has attracted interests in Vietnam recently, bioethics and more broadly critical and intersectional approaches are still unfamiliar. This project seeks raise awareness of bioethics in relation to health procurement law in Vietnam, with students and researchers, through a workshop and student competition.

Training Children to Assist in Institutional Review Board: A Pilot Study in Cape Coast, Ghana

  • Project Lead: Dr Samuel OwusuUniversity of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Co-Implementers: Professor Claudia Passos-Ferreira, Assistant Professor, New York University Centre for Bioethics, USA ; Professor Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Associate Professor in Population and Health, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Summary: Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) have the mandate to provide an independent, competent and timely review of the ethics and methods of proposed research studies. Currently, IRBs are composed of adult members with limited or no expert support services from children during reviews of pediatric research. However, adults are not always capable of representing children’s views and interests, and many ethical issues in pediatric research could be better approached if children’s perspectives are taken into consideration. Following present guidelines for engaging children in society’s decision-making processes and activities that affect them, we argued that it should be permissible to license competent children to assist IRB members in their ethical decision process, especially in an era where a growing number of competent children are being trained as researchers in global pediatric research. This pilot project will recruit and train eight children between 14 and 18 years to assist an IRB in its review of pediatric research protocols. The inclusion of this lower chamber of children will broaden the scope of the IRB’s pediatric protocol process, and ensure that ethical decisions on pediatric research are broad-based, child-centred, and more inclusive. This will also help in avoiding representation bias and improve the accurate representation of children’s perspectives and interests in evaluating pediatric research. The pilot project will serve as a model of how competent children could play a role in IRB activities, provide empirical feedback on the feasibility of incorporating children’s views into IRB reviews, and serve as a framework for identifying competent children.

About the GLIDE Dragons' Den

The Dragons' Den Competition is open to students or early career researchers, from a low- or middle-income country, who are accepted for an oral presentation at theOxford Global Health & Bioethics International Conference 

Projects can include research, teaching/training, and/or service activities and project leads need to identify how collaboratively working with the GLIDE Collaborative can advance or support their project. 

Photo credit Jo Zef Mrkwa from Pixaby