Identifying unique ethical challenges of indigenous field-workers: A commentary on alexander and richman's "ethical dilemmas in evaluations using indigenous research workers"

Nick L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In contrast with nonindigenous workers, to what extent do unique ethical problems arise when indigenous field-workers participate in field studies? Three aspects of study design and operation are considered: data integrity issues, risk issues, and protection issues. Although many of the data quality issues that arise with the use of indigenous workers appear similar to those found in conventional studies, unique problems may arise in terms of risk and protection of confidentiality, especially when field-workers occupy dual roles of both data collectors and service providers. Much is known about ethical problems in the use of conventional field-workers, but the use of indigenous field-workers has been less well studied. It is important to understand which ethical issues may be unique to their work so that specialized training, study design, and management procedures can be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008



  • Ethical concerns
  • Indigenous field-workers
  • Study design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Education
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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