Putting research ethics in context: Rethinking vulnerability and agency within a research ethics case study on HIV prevention for young girls in South Africa

Busisiwe Nkosi, Janet Seeley, Natsayi Chimbindi, Thembelihle Zuma, Maureen Kelley, Maryam Shahmanesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated conceptual shifts around vulnerability and ethical issues arising in research using a case study embedded within an HIV intervention project targeting adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in a rural district, South Africa. We recruited 77 participants. Sixty-five people participated in focus group discussions (FGDs); nine in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and three in key informant interviews (KIIs). Data were analysed iteratively using thematic framework analysis. Themes were determined by the study aims and an inductive development of codes emerging from the data. We investigated ethical issues arising at the intersection between the vulnerabilities and agency experienced by research participants. Our findings show that AGYW's ability to exercise agency is dependent on the social, economic and political context. Understanding the social structures is crucial for interventions seeking to improve the health and social well-being of AGYW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100081
JournalSSM - Qualitative Research in Health
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescent girls and young women
  • Agency
  • Research ethics
  • South Africa
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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