A Médecins Sans Frontières Ethics Framework for Humanitarian Innovation

PLoS Medicine
(Accessed 10 September 2016)

A Médecins Sans Frontières Ethics Framework for Humanitarian Innovation
Julian Sheather, Kiran Jobanputra, Doris Schopper, John Pringle, Sarah Venis, Sidney Wong, Robin Vincent-Smith
Health in Action | published 06 Sep 2016 PLOS Medicine
Summary Points
:: Humanitarian organisations often have to innovate to deliver health care and aid to populations in complex and volatile contexts.
:: Innovation projects can involve ethical risks and have consequences for populations even if human participants are not directly involved. While high-level principles have been developed for humanitarian innovation, there is a lack of guidance for how these should be applied in practice.
: Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) has well-established research ethics frameworks, but application of such frameworks to innovation projects could stifle innovation by introducing regulation disproportionate to the risks involved. In addition, the dynamic processes of innovation do not fit within conventional ethics frameworks.
:: MSF developed and is piloting an ethics framework for humanitarian innovation that is intended for self-guided use by innovators or project owners to enable them to identify and weigh the harms and benefits of such work and be attentive towards a plurality of ethical considerations.