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Publikationen des Deutschen Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Updated: 2 weeks 2 days ago

Prioritäten für eine entwicklungsfreundliche Ausgestaltung des CO2-Grenzausgleichsmechanismus der EU

Tue, 17/08/2021 - 16:52

Am 14. Juli 2021 hat die EU-Kommission den CO2-Grenzausgleichsmechanismus (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, CBAM) als Teil ihres klimapolitischen Fit-for-55-Pakets vorgestellt. Die EU-Kommission hatte dieses handelspolitische Instrument 2019 im Rahmen des Green Deals angekündigt, um ambitioniertere klimapolitische Ziele umsetzen zu können, ohne dass energieintensive Sektoren ihre Emissionen ins Ausland verlagern (Carbon Leakage). Die CBAM-Vorlage sieht vor, Einfuhren in bestimmten energieintensiven EU-Sektoren mit einer zum CO2-Gehalt proportionalen Abgabe zu belasten: Der CBAM-Entwurf erweitert das bestehende EU-Emissionshandelssystem dahingehend, dass Importeure für im Ausland erworbene Güter aus besonders energieintensiven Sektoren (Stahl, Zement, Strom, Dünger und Aluminium) zum Kauf von CO2-Zertifikaten auf Basis von Emissionsdaten aus dem Ausland verpflichtet werden. Der CBAM soll vor allem eine ambitionierte Klimapolitik der EU befördern. Doch die aktuelle EU-Vorlage erweckt den Eindruck, dass es in erster Linie um die Verbesserung der heimischen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit geht – auf Kosten klimapolitischer Effektivität und auch auf Kosten einer entwicklungspolitischen Perspektive.
Die Gesetzesvorlage muss nun im Detail durch die EU-Mitgliedstaaten und das Europäische Parlament ausbuchstabiert werden. Dabei müssen neben der klimapolitischen Effektivität und der Vereinbarkeit mit WTO-Recht die Auswirkungen auf die europäischen Handelspartner und insbesondere auch die armen Entwicklungsländer berücksichtigt werden. Für viele Entwicklungsländer sind infolge des CBAM zusätzliche Exportkosten zu erwarten. Die EU sollte die damit verbundenen Nachteile für Entwicklungsländer sorgfältig bewerten und auf eine entwicklungsfreundliche Ausgestaltung des CBAM hinwirken. Der CBAM sollte im weiteren Gesetzgebungsverfahren der EU entsprechend nachgebessert werden.
• Die EU muss sicherstellen, dass arme Länder nicht negativ vom CO2-Grenzausgleich belastet werden. Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) sollten vom CBAM ausgenommen bleiben.
• Die EU sollte die vom CBAM betroffenen Entwicklungsländer gezielt unterstützen, z. B. durch Kapazitätsaufbau in Bezug auf die Umsetzung des CBAM und Möglichkeiten der CO2-Minderung in den betroffenen Sektoren.
• Die EU sollte Partnerländer mit niedrigen und mittleren Einkommen bei der Dekarbonisierung ihrer Fertigungsindustrien unterstützen.
• Die EU sollte die Einnahmen des CO2-Grenzausgleichs im Sinne eines revenue recyclings überwiegend für klimapolitische Zwecke im Ausland verausgaben.
Bei der Weiterentwicklung des CBAM sollten die betroffenen Länder durch Konsultationen und diplomatischen Austausch zukünftig stärker eingebunden werden.

Focussing European cooperation with the Middle East and North Africa on social contracts

Tue, 17/08/2021 - 16:39

2021 is proving to be a key year for cooperation between Europe and its neighbours in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As the European Union (EU) launches its new multiannual budget, the COVID-19 pandemic has demanded a rethink of the political, economic and social priorities that the EU and its member states should pursue with MENA countries. Europe’s potential for positive influence on state–society relations in MENA countries has yet to be realised.
The latest European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) South Communication, published in February 2021, promises a “new agenda” for cooperation with MENA countries. It does not, however, address conflicts between its own objectives, especially between liberal–democratic political and economic reforms, accountable government and respect for human rights on the one hand, and restrictive trade practices, migration management and security cooperation on the other. Furthermore, there is little bilateral policy coordination among EU member states.
Focussing cooperation on social contracts would help overcome such conflicts, which are inherent in cooperation targeting short- to medium-term goals, such as migration management, resilience and private investment. In authoritarian contexts, these measures tend to strengthen the state at the expense of society, and thereby increase prospects for conflict, rather than the stability they promise.
The social contract perspective is long-term. Social contracts rely on the state’s delivery of the “3 Ps”: protection (of citizens), provision (of economic and social services) and participation (in decision-making).
The social contract provides an analytical tool and a set of organising principles for joint EU and member state priorities and activities. The social contract lens shows how the 3 Ps work together as a framework for social cohesion, peaceful relations and political stability. In practical terms, its use would help improve the effectiveness, coherence and coordination of EU and member state cooperation with MENA countries. Some EU member states prefer to focus on trade and economic cooperation, some on political reform and human rights, and others on migration management. If all take a more long-term perspective, they will realise that sustainable social contracts in MENA countries are good for all of their aims.
All European actions should support reforms in MENA countries that aim to make social contracts more acceptable to the contracting parties – governments and social groups. Ideally, such reforms result from negotiations of social contracts between parties on equal terms. In practice, how¬ever, the negotiation power of social groups is often limited – one reason why Europe should ensure that its programmes strengthen societies at least as much as governments.
This paper discusses four key cooperation areas which are potential drivers of change for social contracts:
• Conflict resolution, peacebuilding and reconstruction;
• Post-COVID-19 recovery: health and social protection;
• Participation at local, regional and national levels; and
• Mutually beneficial migration and mobility.
The EU and its member states, by working together on the 3 Ps in these four areas, can influence positive change in the MENA region.

Fischerei bleibt blinder Fleck in globaler Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklungspolitik

Tue, 17/08/2021 - 15:52

Wir sehen die folgenden Handlungsfelder und konkreten Schritte, um Fischerei in Entwicklungspolitik und internationaler Zusammenarbeit den heutigen Herausforderungen besser zu positionieren:
1) Gezielter Abbau von Subventionen für die Industriefischerei. Die OECD beziffert den Anteil der Official Development Assistance (ODA), der 2013-2018 für eine Nachhaltigkeits-orientierte Weiterentwicklung der Blue Economy eingesetzt wurde, auf durchschnittlich 2,9 Mrd. Dollar pro Jahr (1,6 Prozent dergesamten ODA). Dies steht den 35,4 Mrd. Dollar gegenüber, die allein 2018 global für Fischereisubventionen bereitgestellt wurden (Skeritt & Sumaila 2021), mit dem zu erwartenden Versagen im Kampf gegen Überfischung.
2) Verbot jeglicher Fischereiaktivitäten in der Hohen See. Sie sollten in Zukunft auf Küstenmeere innerhalb der Ausschließlichen Wirtschaftszonen reduziert werden. Neben dem Schutz der Ökosysteme der Hohen See, würde es die Position der Kleinfischerei gegenüber der Industriefischerei im Kampf um die Fischbestände von Entwicklungsländern stärken (Sumaila et al. 2015).
3) Institutionelle Stärkung und Kapazitätsentwicklung von regionalem Fischereimanagement. Gezielte Förderung regionaler Kooperation und Verständigung zu nachhaltigem Fischereimanagement in Verbindung mit guter Regierungsführung und Prinzipien der Rechtsstaatlichkeit mittels der Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.
4) Gezielte Förderung der Klein- und Küstenfischerei in Entwicklungs- und Mitteleinkommensländern mit Zugang zu traditionell reichen Fischereigründen und entlang der Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines der FAO (FAO 2015).
5) Gezielter Ausbau von lokalen fischverarbeitenden Industrien und (trans-)regionaler Vermarktung, inklusive gender-diverser Arbeitsplatzförderung, Sozial- und Umweltstandards, Kapazitätsentwicklung und Ausbildung.
6) Förderung von cross-sektoraler Kooperation und Koordination im weiteren Kontext ozeanbasierter Wirtschaftszweige. Sicherstellung von Nachhaltigkeitsstandards (ökologische, soziale, ökonomische, kulturelle) im weiteren Ausbau der ‚Blue Economy‘ mittels der gezielten Unterstützung integrierter Ansätze (wie z.B. die Integrated Maritime Strategy der Afrikanischen Union).

Handbook on social protection systems

Tue, 17/08/2021 - 15:51

This exciting and innovative Handbook provides readers with a comprehensive and globally relevant overview of the instruments, actors and design features of social protection systems, as well as their application and impacts in practice. It is the first book that centres around system building globally, a theme that has gained political importance yet has received relatively little attention in academia. Combining academic discussion with cases from the Global South and North, this Handbook offers practical recommendations on how greater harmonization across social protection policies, programmes and delivery mechanisms can be achieved. It also highlights the importance of linkages to other policy fields and issues such as taxation, humanitarian aid and livelihood approaches. Overall, the chapters argue that a systems approach is needed to respond to the individual needs of different groups in society and to face future challenges from demographic change, globalization, automation, climate change and pandemics.Targeting a broad audience, the Handbook on Social Protection Systems bridges the divide in academic debate around social protection in the Global South and North. It will be an invaluable resource for academics, students and practitioners.

The jury is still out on the economic partnership agreements

Tue, 17/08/2021 - 09:03

The negotiations and implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and the 79 countries forming the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) – a group of developing countries largely sharing a colonial past with EU members – were conflict-ridden from the beginning. Transforming a decades-long system of unilateral tariff preferences into quasi-reciprocal trade agreements, at the heart of controversies are the potentially adverse effects of the EPAs inflicted on African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. In our recently published article we explore this allegation by providing an early ex-post assessment of the EPAs’ effects on two-way trade flows between the European Union and the ACP countries. An empirical assessment is key to inform the heated discussions on EPAs and EU-ACP trade relations and to also shed new light on the debate on the European Union as a potentially normative trade power which uses its economic strength to advance non-trade objectives such as sustainable development.

Local governments and the sustainable integration of refugees in Ethiopia

Mon, 16/08/2021 - 14:18

Ethiopia is the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa; it accommodates around 700,000 refugees, mostly from neighbouring countries. Humanitarian and development actors are increasingly highlighting the local integration of refugees as a durable solution to protracted refugee situations. Hosting states are called upon to include refugees in their national public services, rather than to sustain a parallel (humanitarian) system, and to empower refugees to secure their own livelihoods as part of the local community. The international community has endorsed this idea by adopting the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and vowing financial support. Ethiopia is one of the pilot countries implementing this framework. However, the execution of the ambitious approach faces many challenges. This paper focusses on the role of local governments within the CRRF implementation process; they have not yet been the focus of attention even though sustainable solutions largely depend on them. Results show that the CRRF implementation process has slowed down considerably in the past years, mostly remaining on a project base. Shifting political priorities, a lack of leadership and coordination at the national level as well as the unclear role and low capacities of local governments are major barriers to the local integration of refugees.

Promoting knowledge: using experiences from the Republic of Korea on the world stage

Mon, 16/08/2021 - 13:33

Education is a high priority in all societies. Nevertheless, the amount of attention families in the Republic of Korea (RoK) are paying to the education of their children is truly amazing. Long school and study days are quite common. To ensure students’ health, authorities have enacted rules for after-school programs to close by 10 pm in some provinces or at midnight in other provinces.

Effects of social protection on food consumption and nutrition

Mon, 16/08/2021 - 12:23

The paper examines the effects of social protection on food consumption and nutrition, two central variables in the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda. First, it discusses the theoretical mechanisms through which different social protection schemes can influence the various indicators of food consumption and nutrition. Major attention is given to cash benefits programmes – non-contributory cash transfers (CTs) and contributory social insurance cash benefits – and food transfers. Then, the paper illustrates the empirical evidence concerning CTs in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This analysis reveals that social protection schemes paying sufficient attention to key design and implementation features, play a major role in improving food consumption and are often successful in improving diet diversification. In contrast, these programmes do not reach the last mile, i.e. improving final nutritional outcomes, when they are not integrated with other interventions addressing nutrition knowledge and behaviour, or tackling malnutrition of vulnerable groups.

How good are multinationals for you?

Mon, 16/08/2021 - 09:00

The expanded presence of multinational enterprises in the world raises questions about how a country benefits from foreign direct investment. I review the evidence on global value chains (firms organising production across multiple countries) and “superstar firms”, those accounting for a large share of overall economic activity, with market concentration. I find that governments might have to adopt firm-specific policies, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of providing subsidies to attract multinationals.

Introduction: Effects

Sun, 15/08/2021 - 12:27

This part of the handbook discusses the multiple, potential and actual, effects of social protection. We start with more immediate impacts, namely those on income poverty and inequality, and then gradually move to more indirect ones: nutrition, health, economic development and finally social cohesion.

Bye-bye regional implementation, hello variable geometry

Sun, 15/08/2021 - 10:54

The EU-Kenya agreement to implement the Economic Partnership Agreement originally planned with the entire East African Community unties the Gordian knot between its supporters and opponents among African countries in the short term, but has long-term consequences beyond the divergence of tariffs towards the EU, writes Frederik Stender.

Beyond the single story: ‘Global South’ polyphonies

Tue, 03/08/2021 - 14:46

With reference to Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s plea to move beyond the single story, we take the complexities of the ‘Global South’ meta category as a starting point to explore what abandoning the quest for neatness can look like. Building on the main arguments put forward across this volume, our contribution centres around questions of position(alitie)s and self-reflexivity to engage with the persistent ambivalences of the ‘Global South’. We reflect on the unease stemming from explicit and implicit claims connected to the ‘Global South’ category and discuss its fluidity and plurality across space and time. Ultimately, we suggest embracing the notion of polyphony for approaching the ‘Global South’. A focus on polyphonies allows us to connect specific meanings and their implications with a broader take on the inherent complexities of macro categories. Working with and through polyphonies also helps us to recognise and engage with the evolving agency behind different uses of the ‘Global South’.

A sustainable development pathway for climate action within the UN 2030 Agenda

Tue, 03/08/2021 - 13:26

Ambitious climate policies, as well as economic development, education, technological progress and less resource-intensive lifestyles, are crucial elements for progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, using an integrated modelling framework covering 56 indicators or proxies across all 17 SDGs, we show that they are insufficient to reach the targets. An additional sustainable development package, including international climate finance, progressive redistribution of carbon pricing revenues, sufficient and healthy nutrition and improved access to modern energy, enables a more comprehensive sustainable development pathway. We quantify climate and SDG outcomes, showing that these interventions substantially boost progress towards many aspects of the UN Agenda 2030 and simultaneously facilitate reaching ambitious climate targets. Nonetheless, several important gaps remain; for example, with respect to the eradication of extreme poverty (180 million people remaining in 2030). These gaps can be closed by 2050 for many SDGs while also respecting the 1.5 °C target and several other planetary boundaries.

Do gender wage differences within households influence women's empowerment and welfare? Evidence from Ghana

Sun, 01/08/2021 - 14:03

Using household data from the latest wave of the Ghana Living Standards Survey, this paper utilizes machine learning techniques – IV LASSO – that allows for the treatment of unconfoundedness in the selection of observables and unobservables to examine the structural effect of gender wage differences within households on women's empowerment and welfare in Ghana. The structural parameters of the IV LASSO estimations show that a reduction in household gender wage gap significantly enhances women's empowerment. Also, a decline in household gender wage gap results meaningfully in improving household and women's welfare. Particularly, the increasing effect on women's welfare resulting from decreases in household gender wage differences is much higher than for the household welfare. The findings showcase the need to vigorously adopt policies that both increase the quantity and quality of jobs for women and address gender barriers that inhibit women from accessing these jobs opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The EU-UNDP partnership and added value in EU development cooperation

Thu, 29/07/2021 - 13:40

European Union (EU) funding for United Nations (UN) organisations has expanded significantly over the last two decades. The EU’s partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is an important example of EU-UN cooperation, and UNDP was the fourth-largest UN recipient of European Commission funds in 2018. Against the backdrop of UN and EU reforms that aim to strengthen multilateralism and promote more integrated development cooperation approaches, this paper outlines priority areas in EU-UNDP cooperation and modes of cooperation. The term “added value” provides an entry point for identifying the rationales for EU funding to UNDP. In EU budgetary discussions, added value is a concept used to inform decisions such as whether to take action at the EU or member state levels or which means of implementation to select. These choices extend to the development cooperation arena, where the term relates to the division of labour agenda and features in assessments of effectiveness. The paper explores three perspectives to consider the added value of funding choices within the EU-UNDP partnership relating to the division of labour between EU institutions and member states, the characteristics of UNDP as an implementation channel and the qualities of the EU as a funder. On the first dimension, the large scale of EU funding for UNDP sets it apart from most member states, though EU funding priorities display elements of specialisation as well as similar emphases to member states. On the second dimension, UNDP’s large scope of work, its implementation capacities and accountability standards are attractive to the EU, but additional criteria – including organisational cost effectiveness – can alter the perception of added value. Finally, the scale of EU funding and the possibility to engage in difficult country contexts are key elements of the added value of the EU as a funder. However, the EU’s non-core funding emphasis presents a challenge for the UN resource mobilisation agenda calling for greater flexibility in organisational funding. Attention to these multiple dimensions of added value can inform future EU choices on how to orient engagement with UNDP to reinforce strengths of the organisation and enable adaptations envisaged in UN reform processes.

Global access to COVID-19 vaccines: challenges in production, affordability, distribution and utilisation

Wed, 28/07/2021 - 21:48

The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing vaccination process calls for decisive, internationally coordinated and forward-looking action. We propose short-, medium- and long-term actions and emphasise that the political pressure for action should not only focus on short-term management, but on building long-term structures that are crucial to prepare for future epidemics or pandemics. Four key challenges need to be addressed in order to achieve global control of COVID-19 by using vaccines. First, vaccines need to be produced at scale; second, they should be priced affordably; third, they have to be allocated globally so that they are available where needed; and fourth, they have to be deployed and utilised in local communities. Challenges in production are producing some of the main bottlenecks, but the others – in particular vaccine scepticism and utilisation – need to be considered early enough to enable smooth global vaccination campaigns. Addressing the four key challenges, we recommend the following short, medium- and long-term actions. In the short term, we advise accelerating global vaccination efforts by scaling up financial support for the COVAX initiative. In the medium term, we suggest establishing regional production centres in priority countries, providing the necessary intellectual property through voluntary patent pools and fostering information campaigns and civil society participation to increase vaccination willingness and utilisation. In the long term, we recommend establishing Global Pandemic Centres of Excellence in all world regions – analogous to the CGIAR system in the agricultural sector – that are responsible for medical research, vaccine production, distribution and delivery.

Municipal development policy in Germany: current status and prospects

Wed, 28/07/2021 - 20:41

German municipalities are getting increasingly involved in development policy work in Germany and abroad, with the nature of that involvement becoming ever more diverse. However, very little is known about the background or the type of these activities.
Against this backdrop, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) has conducted a study of municipal development policy (MDP) in Germany. Financed by the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global, this research drew upon a previous study carried out by DIE in 2009 (Fröhlich & Lämmlin, 2009) with the aim of identifying the current status of and trends in development for this policy area. To this end, DIE collaborated with the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) to conduct a survey of municipalities throughout Germany. In addition, semi-structured qualitative interviews were held with representatives of municipalities and relevant national and federal-state institutions.
As the results show, involvement in MDP on the part of German municipalities is increasing in the context of enabling national policies and changing frameworks for international cooperation (e.g. 2030 Agenda). Large municipalities engage far more often in development policy than small municipalities. The latter often focus on low-threshold activities with fewer requirements for project management, such as the promotion of fair trade. In a number of cases, small municipalities carry out projects based on inter-municipal cooperation.
MDP covers many different topics, from information and education work to diverse forms of partnerships with municipalities in the Global South. The number and variety of stakeholders involved in the municipal administration partnerships are increasing, along with the functions they carry out. Municipalities serve as implementing agents, facilitators and networkers. They are partly motivated in their international work and corresponding activities by self-interest. Their involvement, for instance, may allow them to take on international responsibility or increase their appeal as an employer to new recruits.
Development policy is a shared responsibility of the German national government, federal states and municipalities. MDP is a voluntary municipal activity and is thus not practised everywhere. Human resources are often insufficient and the required knowledge is difficult to obtain. In some cases, municipalities consider the expenditure associated with the management of MDP projects to be too high.
Nonetheless, municipalities make a key contribution to transnational sustainability policy through their work, most especially by enabling global objectives to be localised and/or contextualised. One of the specific benefits of MDP is its proximity to citizens and direct contact with local stakeholders in Germany and abroad. However, when measured using conventional metrics and indicators for development cooperation (such as Official Development Assistance, ODA), the municipal contribution is still insufficiently discernible. It is important to continue providing support to municipalities, with as little red tape as possible, in order to fully exploit the potential MDP has in municipalities that are already involved in this work and those which are not yet involved.

Über Klimaneutralität hinausdenken

Tue, 27/07/2021 - 08:55

Die Klimakrise und die durch die Covid-19-Pandemie bedingten Krisen müssen gemeinsam bewältigt werden. Viele Staaten arbeiten an Strategien zur Umsetzung des Pariser Übereinkommens. Auf der Klimakonferenz in Glasgow gilt es daher, kurz- und langfristige Ziele und Maßnahmen in Einklang zu bringen. Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hat den deutschen Gesetzgeber verpflichtet, Klimaschutz langfristig zu planen. Die Erstellung von Langfriststrategien sollte auch international verpflichtend werden, über Klimaneutralität hinaus auf Klimastabilisierung abzielen und Mehrgewinne mit anderen Nachhaltigkeitsdimensionen anstreben. Dazu sollten sie erstens den schnellen und vollständigen Ausstieg aus der Nutzung fossiler Energieträger vorsehen. Zweitens sollten Schutz und Wiederherstellung von Ökosystemen sowie ihre nachhaltige Nutzung zum Schwerpunkt
werden. Drittens sollte die Entfernung von CO2 aus der Atmosphäre strategisch vorbereitet werden. Als starken Impuls sollten sich Staaten auf der COP 26 dazu bekennen, ihre COVID-19-Stimulusprogramme im Sinne der Langfriststrategien zu nutzen.

Failing forward in the EU's common security and defense policy: the integration of EU crisis management

Wed, 21/07/2021 - 10:16

Recent years have witnessed renewed efforts to advance integration in the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), including in the domain of military and civilian capability development. The adoption of a Civilian CSDP Compact (CCC) and the creation of a European Peace Facility (EPF) are prominent examples of recent steps taken towards further integration. Still, despite recent progress, CSDP reforms have often been slow to materialise, lag behind the reform ambitions of key EU foreign policy actors, and fail to address important shortcomings experienced by CSDP. This article addresses why this might be by exploring the evolution of CSDP crisis management through a failing forward approach, which charts the course of integration dynamics, identified by neofunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism, through time, revealing its cyclical nature. Our case studies of the EPF and the CCC demonstrate how the long-term integrative dynamics in EU military and civilian crisis management are marked by a cycle of crisis followed by incomplete institutional reforms, policy feedback, experiential learning and subsequent, yet again incomplete, efforts to remedy institutional shortcomings and policy failure.

A systematic review on ethical challenges of 'field' research in low-income and middle-income countries: respect, justice and beneficence for research staff?

Tue, 20/07/2021 - 17:15

Primary data collection in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is associated with a range of ethical complexities. Considerations on how to adequately ensure the well-being of research staff are largely neglected in contemporary ethics discourse. This systematic review aims to identify the ethical challenges that research staff across different hierarchical levels and scientific disciplines face when conducting research in LMICs.

We searched 13 electronic databases and handsearched publications in six selected journals as well as the reference lists of all included studies. No restrictions were applied with respect to the publication date, research design, and target population.

23 151 studies were retrieved, 183 of which met our inclusion criteria. We identified nine different types of ethical challenges that research staff may be exposed to during field research, including (1) role conflicts that can emerge from participants’ help requests and the high level of deprivation found in certain study settings, (2) feelings of guilt and (3) detrimental mental health impacts. Further challenges were (4) sexual harassment (5) safety risks and (6) political repression, particularly in postconflict, disaster-ridden or autocratic study contexts. Additionally, studies reported (7) inadequate working conditions and (8) power imbalances within research teams, while (9) ethics boards were found to be ill equipped to anticipate and address emerging risks, thus increasing the ethical liability of researchers.

This review revealed several complex ethical challenges that research staff may face during data collection. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 8.8 on ‘safe and secure working environments’ and to protect research staff from harm, amendments must urgently be made to current ethical standards.

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