SPEaR Good Practice Guidelines 2008: Principles: Integrity
The actions and behaviour of social sector officials advancing research and evaluation should work to establish, maintain and enhance the integrity of all stakeholders, and the professional and ethical integrity of the research and evaluation, policy and service delivery functions.
The integrity of the social sector's research and evaluation work depends on the cumulative behaviour of individual researchers and the research units or organisations within which they reside, and the effect that their behaviour has on their own agencies, the social sector, external contractors, and the communities where research and/or evaluation takes place. Researchers and evaluators have a responsibility to safeguard the interests of those involved in or affected by their work, and to report their findings accurately and truthfully. They also have a duty to ensure, as far as possible, that the work programmes or projects they undertake 'add value' to the knowledge base, the development of policy, and the delivery of services. To that end, research findings should also cover the research methodology so that the processes and methods enable the readers to see how the results were arrived at and enable other researchers to replicate the research for another population or at some time in the future.
The processes established to oversee the conduct of all facets of the research process should be based on informed, high quality professional, legal and ethical good practice. These principles and associated guidelines are designed to establish an environment for the personal and professional safety of officials, contractors and participants. The integrity of our processes and behaviour should be such that new forms of knowledge are created that facilitate the development of policies and interventions reflecting the lived experiences of individual participants and their communities.
Anticipated benefits of integrity guidelines include:
- growing public confidence in government's R & E activities
- continued community participation in future social sector R & E activities
- enhanced standards of social sector R & E practice in line with approved ethical, legal and professional good practice protocols
- enhanced development, and maintenance of appropriate support mechanisms, for social sector Research & Evaluation practioners