On the 26th of March, SIMNA Sydney held its first event for the year on the topic of ethics in social impact measurement. A universal topic for all involved in collecting data, especially with vulnerable cohorts, the event generated a lively discussion supported by input from our three panellists.
Summer Finlay of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council shared key insights into what ethics committees look out for, especially when researchers are planning to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A key consideration is always involving Aboriginal people in the data collection process.
Andrew Callaghan from the Australian Social Value Bank shared his experience of embedding ethical practices across an organisation, and reflected on some of the challenges in defining what constitutes research. We learned it often comes down to whether the results will be used internally (for quality improvement purposes) or published more widely.
Jessica Holmes from the Salvation Army shared some real-life examples of how organisations can approach ethics to de-risk the process. These included engaging with ethics committees early to clarify their requirements, and involving the people you want to consult with in the research design stage, to ensure appropriateness for the audience.
The event was a great opportunity for SIMNA Sydney members to meet, learn and network, and we very much look forward to the next event in June/July 2019.
Sidonie Roberts, SIMNA Sydney Committee