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Guidance for safeguarding in international development research

Everyone involved in the international development research chain has the right to be safe from harm.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has worked with other UK funders of ODA research and the UK Collaborative for Development Research (UKCDR) to develop a set of principles and best practice guidance on safeguarding to anticipate, mitigate and address potential and actual harms in the funding, design, delivery and dissemination of research.

This guidance is needed to ensure the highest safeguarding standards in the context of international development research, which presents specific situations in which harms that can occur are different to international development more broadly.

On behalf of major funders of international development research, UK Collaborative for Development Research (UKCDR) has published the safeguarding guidance on their website.

The guidance is designed to be used flexibly and collaboratively by a wide range of people involved in the international development research process, whether based in low-, middle- or high-income countries.

The guidance has been developed in consultation with international development experts across the globe following a commitment made in 2018 by the Department for International Development, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department of Health and Social Care, UK research and Innovation and Wellcome to jointly raise standards of behaviour across the sector.

Safeguarding and COVID-19

UKCDR has also published information on the practical application of this guidance during COVID

Researchers are at the forefront of the response to the global pandemic. This resource takes account of the significant challenges of undertaking research in crisis situations, and provides guidance on how to apply safeguarding guidance in this context.

The guidance and reports are available here:


Image: M-Africa and i-sense fieldwork