Malawian (Hi)Stories and the Medical Humanities:

A Digital Repository for Arts, Humanities and Health Resources

Ethics and Responsible Archives: Working with Marginalised, Native, Impoverished and Indigenous Cultures

This section sets forth the standards of professional behaviour expected of academics, archivists, contributors, those affiliated with the creation and maintenance of contributions contained in this archive.

The archive was established to provide public access to a vast and diverse collection that documents the (hi)stories of health through creative representation from Malawiana studies. Ethical clearance to obtain these materials and work with human contributors was provided by The University of Edinburgh’s School of Social & Political Science (SSPS) Research Ethics Committee and by the Malawi National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST).*

Ethics in health-related to marginalised, native, impoverished and indigenous peoples has recently begun to advocate for the decolonisation of methods and practices. As we are reporting on the lives and experiences of the Malawian people, immense efforts were taken to ensure that participants were fully informed in their right to consent or refuse participation. In cases where we were asked, we have anonymised the data by removing names and other identifiers such as information on relatives and communities of origin to protect the identities of participants. Accordingly, our roles as researchers has endeavoured to ensure that participants of this project are given full credit for their contributions for those who indicated that they wanted public recognition for their contributions.

We see this approach as part of a global need to proactively address and lead ongoing discussions about the importance of adapting principles, processes or approaches for ethical research involving the analysis of health about indigenous and native peoples.

Our desire to provide a platform to underrepresented, marginalised or impoverished citizens means that we must strive to acknowledge and protect both their collective and human rights, and to maintain the continuity of their culture.

* This project was created under the directorship of Dr Chisomo Kalinga; Principal Investigator of the Wellcome Trust Seed grant ‘Tili Tonse (We are Listening): Mapping Oral Storytelling Traditions and Narratives with Health in Malawi’ (reference WT3697081).