Ethics and equity guiding principles
1 July 2021
The Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy’s goal of fostering sharing and learning is about bringing people from many disciplines and backgrounds together – facilitating opportunities for people to exchange knowledge and experiences from different contexts and perspectives.
Beyond interdisciplinary collaboration and learning, we deeply value our diverse membership and are committed to promoting equity and diversity as an essential tenet of our community and programming. Our aim is to foster a supportive, enabling and inclusive environment, where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, and where there is equality of opportunity for all regardless of characteristics or background.
The ANH Academy is a community of researchers, practitioners and policymakers working mainly on projects in Africa and Asia, but our core team and many of our partners are based in Europe and North America. Our partnerships and the foundation of our research community has inherent inequities that cannot be overlooked. We are part of a centuries-old history of the global health field that elevates white knowledge from institutions in Europe and North America, and erases or excludes knowledge coming from black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community and the disability community. With these fundamental historical and ongoing inequities and power structures in mind, we work to identify practices and pathways to amplify and support our members and partners from Africa and Asia, and centre people who in the past have not had a platform across these fields.
Supporting and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion are the responsibility of all ANH Academy team members. We are continually developing our strategy, knowledge, awareness and requirements to embed these values into all our activities. Much of our programming comes in the form of free webinars, conferences and events to share evidence, skills, methods and approaches among our community.
Through organising such activities and with the invaluable experience of this community, we have developed some guidance for our own internal planning as well as for the organisers of collaborative events in which ANH Academy is a partner:
Equitable representation: Aim for an equal balance. Women and BIPOC speakers are still underrepresented in science, so seek to address this. Importantly, where possible try to ensure that if research being presented focuses on a specific country, then panels include speakers or discussants from that country and expertise. In striving for these very achievable goals, do not tokenise speakers. Ensure that they have adequate time to meaningfully present or contribute. Support and put forward your earlier-career colleagues to speak and ensure that appropriate acknowledgement is given where possible to the entire research team that carries out the research.
Ethical imagery: Think carefully about how images are used, so as to avoid problems with misrepresentation, copyright infringement, and privacy. Some simple steps can be used:
- Appropriately credit all images, videos and other non-original content.
- Ensure that any imagery is relevant to the content being presented, particularly if it depicts people.
- Avoid using imagery or language that explicitly or implicitly conveys problematic and dated white saviour narratives, or upholds racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism or discrimination otherwise based on a person’s characteristics or background. As such pay close attention to how all content (including presentations and images) depict BIPOC, women and other disadvantaged people, as well as the relationships and power dynamics between researchers/practitioners and the communities they interact with.
Accessibility: Prepare content in a way that is accessible to as many as possible, regardless of disability status and financial resources. The following organisations have useful resources on accessibility:
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- University College London (scroll down to “Online Events”)
- International Centre for Evidence in Disability, LSHTM
Positionality statements: Encourage the use of positionality statements in presentations?
Useful resources: Although this is by no means a definitive list, these resources have been helpful for us, colleagues and partners, and we recommend you use these as a starting point to learn about privilege and power dynamics in the global health field, in reverse chronological order:
- “A Doc Was Mad That People Die From Preventable Diseases. So He Wrote A Book About It” by Joanne Lu in NPR Goats and Soda, 4 February 2021
- “How to confront race and racism in international development” by Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou and Carmen Leon-Himmelstine at ODI, 5 October 2020
- “COVID-19 as social disability: the opportunity of social empathy for empowerment” by Ikenna D Ebuenyi, Emma M Smith, Catherine Holloway, Rune Jensen, Lucía D’Arino, Malcolm MacLachlan in BMJ Global Health, 23 August 2020
- “How (not) to write about global health” by Desmond T Jumbam in BMJ Global Health, 19 July 2020
- “What is the impact of racism and colonialism on healthcare?” LSHTM Viral Podcast episode with Lioba Hirsch, 12 June 2020