The “Covidisation” Of Migration And Health Research: Implications For Academia, Policy And Practice
Webinar Series

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dominated most aspects of 2020 and the start of 2021, including research in the field of migration and health, which has not been spared the recent ‘covidisation’ of academic research – the re-orientating of research to focus on COVID-19 – nor the consequences of the global pandemic on conducting and sharing research.

The University of the Witwatersrand, University College London and Queen Mary University of London are organising a series of workshops, aiming to explore the possibilities of achieving ethical and equitable international research partnerships in the field of migration and health within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We seek to unpack the challenges and potential opportunities COVID-19 has presented to the field, and through collaborative discussions and dialogue, consider solutions-focused next steps in moving forward. In doing so, we explore the application of the draft Guidelines for Ethical and Equitable International partnerships in Migration Research (Johannesburg Principles), which can help guide ethical and equitable international research partnerships in the field of migration and health research in the context of COVID-19. This includes paying attention to the opportunities – and ethical challenges – associated with the increasing need to move research online.

Writing early on in the pandemic, Pai drew attention to the ‘covidisation’ of academic research and scholarship – the re-orientating of research to focus on COVID-19 – particularly in the field of global health, which, he argued, could have serious consequences not only for research, but also for the development and implementation of policy and global health practice (2020). The field of migration and health has not been spared this shift in research agenda nor the consequences of a global pandemic on conducting and sharing research. Through two online workshops and a virtual consultative process, we aim to explore the possibilities of achieving ethical and equitable international research partnerships in the field of migration and health within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In doing so, we explore the application of the draft Johannesburg principles, which can help guide ethical and equitable international research partnerships in the field of migration and health research in the context of COVID-19. This includes paying attention to the opportunities – and ethical challenges – associated with the increasing need to move research online.

In a series of two online workshops and an extended virtual consultative process, we seek to unpack the challenges and potential opportunities COVID-19 has presented to the field of migration and health research and, through collaborative discussions and dialogue, consider solutions-focused ways forward.

The first workshop (March 2021) will bring together a diverse range of individuals involved in the field of migration and health to discuss and elucidate the implications of COVID-19 on research partnerships. This involves a specific focus on the existing inequities and challenges in migration and health research that COVID-19 has exacerbated, the opportunities that the move to online platforms has provided, and suggestions for leveraging  both the challenges and opportunities to foster more inclusive approaches to international migration and health research.

The second workshop (April 2021) will build on the discussions and conclusions from workshop 1 to explore how the Johannesburg Principles can be adapted to international migration and health research in the context of COVID-19. This will focus on articulating actionable steps that can be taken to ensure that international research in the field of migration and health is more equitable and inclusive moving forward.

We hope that the two workshops and the virtual consultative process will lead to the publication of an addendum to the Johannesburg Principles, which will articulate actionable ways forward to ensure that existing inequities are not exacerbated during the pandemic and to outline the opportunities identified for improving research and international collaboration in the field. In addition, we hope to publish a commentary which would pull together the discussions from these webinars, highlight the challenges and opportunities created/exacerbated by COVID-19 and identify ways forward.

A concept note detailing these concerns can be found here. The challenges and opportunities outlined in this concept note are not intended to be exhaustive, but aim to promote discussion during the workshops and virtual consultative process.

If you would like to participate in the virtual consultative process and/or be informed of developments in the process, please sign up here.
 
For further information, please email Heleen Trummers.
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