Ethical Considerations

While planning and executing necessary steps for a successful Cape Town project, our group will take essential measures to ensure all procedures are done in an ethical fashion. When working with the communities in Maitland Garden Village (MGV), Oude Molen Eco Village (OMEV), and the Alexandra Hospital, we will ensure that the information shared with us is at each person’s consent, especially if it involves sensitive information. We will be sure that all parties are informed of our purpose and understand that they are able to abstain from answering any question or giving information if it will make them uncomfortable or lead to harmful repercussions. In addition to meeting WPI’s Institutional Review Board’s (IRB) requirements, we will act with honesty, integrity, responsibility, and fairness, as outlined on the Shared Action Learning portion of the CTPC website (“Institutional review board,” 2012).

To accomplish this, we will carefully plan to interview, observe, or interact with the people of MGV, OMEV, or any surrounding areas. This includes the questions that we will ask and the mechanism for asking them, such as informal discussion or an interactive activity. When these meetings occur, we will always inform the necessary person(s) of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and what we are asking of them. Participation will be completely voluntary and they can opt out at any time or pass any question they do not feel comfortable answering. Our group will be respectful and cognizant of privacy.

With the development of the CPTC website and Executive Summaries, we will have to be especially careful with what is kept public and private. Since the internet is public to anyone, we will ask further permission if we would like something to be included online.  This is important when taking pictures for both the consent of the picture’s subject for taking the picture and the potential use of that picture in online materials.

Ethics is a top priority that our group will consider while conducting any interaction with people in South Africa. We have submitted the IRB approval application noting that we have addressed these concerns and we also have a sample informed consent form for those that participate in our interviews. Furthermore, if our team is ever in doubt about ethics in any part of our project, we will discuss with advisors and anyone else that may be necessary before taking action.


To see our interview process, click here [PDF, 285 KB]