Addressing Ethical, Social, and Cultural Issues in Global Health and Development


In August 2013, the ESC Program team published a paper in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the purpose of which “is to encourage reflection among the global health research community and the research ethics community about how a wide range of ethical, social, and cultural (ESC) influences on the conduct, success, and impact of global health research can best be addressed by consultation services in research ethics (CSRE)”.  Drawing on our experiences as the Ethical, Social, and Cultural (ESC) Program of the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative (2005-2011), we proposed four key features of a CSRE focused on enhancing the impact of global health and development initiatives: integrate ESC consultation with the scientific process; privilege Southern perspectives; build on specific cases to find solutions to cross-cutting issues; and, improve the evaluation of the strategies, activities, and outcomes.  We hope these lessons prove useful for groups designing or implementing similar services or programs.