Vulnerability Revisited: Leaving No One Behind in Research

Schroeder, Doris orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3633-2758, Chatfield, Kate orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8109-0535, Chennells, Roger, Partington, Hazel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3566-7035, Kimani, Joshua, Thomson, Gill orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3392-8182, Odhiambo, Joyce Adhiambo, Snyders, Leana and Louw, Collin (2024) Vulnerability Revisited: Leaving No One Behind in Research. SpringerBriefs in Research and Innovation Governance, 1 . Springer. ISBN 978-3-031-57895-3

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This open-access book discusses vulnerability and the protection-inclusion dilemma of including those who suffer from serious poverty, severe stigma, and structural violence in research. Co-written with representatives from indigenous peoples in South Africa and sex workers in Nairobi, the authors come down firmly on the side of inclusion. In the spirit of leaving no one behind in research, the team experimented with data collection methods that prioritize research participant needs over researcher needs. This involved foregoing the collection of personal data and community researchers being involved in all stages of the research. In the process, the term ‘vulnerability’ was illuminated across significant language barriers as it was defined by indigenous peoples and sex workers themselves. The book describes a potential alternative to exclusion from research that moves away from traditional research methods. By ensuring that the research is led by vulnerable groups for vulnerable groups, it offers an approach that fosters trust and collaboration with benefits for the community researchers, the wider community as well as research academics.

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