D7.9 Ethical Notifications and Approvals


Reynold Greenlaw, Andrew Muddiman


This deliverable describes the framework within which Ethical notifications will be prepared, distributed and monitored together with the details of Ethical Approvals received from appropriate national bodies. Also, it will include the strategy, methodology, procedures and tools for selection of and engagement with participants in field work, validation and demonstration.

The document provides details of how Ethical Notifications are implemented, including:

  • A description of how participants are selected and engaged (Chapter 2) from the various stakeholders that have been categorised as “types of user” defined in Deliverable 3.1
  • Copies of approvals that local or national Ethics Boards have issued to the relevant partners (Chapter 3)
  • A “Field Handbook” (Chapter 4) that defines the Ethical environment in which the project is to be undertaken and lays out the roles and responsibilities of the partners aswell as tools and information that will enable the participant to understand and see how ethical issues are managed. It also details EmerGent’s Ethics Monitoring System that will be in existence throughout the lifetime of the project.
  • An “Informed Consent Form” (chapter 5) that is aimed at providing participants in the research project an accessible description of the project as a whole, their part in it the rights of the participant and the responsibilities of EmerGent’s partners in respect of the participant’s privacy and confidentiality. The Informed Consent Form is to be completed and signed by both the Emergent partner and the participant.

The Emergent Ethics Advisory Committee (EAC) will be established as part of D7.5 to be the “guardians of the correct governance practices which will be reviewed” annually. The EAC will be in charge of evaluating the compliance with the applicable regulations in terms of protection of rights and safety of subjects that contributed with the data used in the project. Matters tracked by the EEMS (EmerGent Ethics Monitoring System) will be stored on the project SharePoint and the result of this evaluation will be recorded in the Ethical Management Reports (D7.9) that will be attached to the Annual Reports.

Purpose of the document

The purpose of the EmerGent project is to:

  • understand the positive and negative impact of social media in emergencies in order to enhance objective and perceived safety and security of citizens before, during and after emergencies
  • strengthen the role of European companies dealing with services and products related to the aimed research and development results.

The EmerGent Project Abstract specifically states that ‘all analysis and impact assessment results will lead to the creation of guidelines’.

The Work Package relating to this document, WP7 (Guidelines, Dissemination, Exploitation and Ethics), supports the overall project objectives by:

  • delivering a report with the findings of the project, in the form of guidelines and information that supports the participation of research volunteers to support the future adoption of social media in the emergency management procedures
  • to provide guidelines, procedures, good practice examples and tools for partners engaged in tasks that entail collaboration with citizens and other stakeholders and/or collection and analysis of personal data to ensure relevant ethical and data protection principles and rules are complied with
  • to provide information, procedures and tools to citizens and other key stakeholders engaged with the public that will ensure they are fully aware of the ethical issues raised by the project and how these will be addressed.
  • carrying out dissemination activities, collect and collate results and outcomes
  • maximising the possible reach of the project findings in as many areas as possible
  • identifying possible exploitation paths for the project results, both in term of tools and guidelines.

This deliverable (D7.9) relates to the overall project and WP objectives by:

  • contributing directly to the creation of data privacy and protection guidelines for use within emergency management procedures
  • providing a process and guidance for the project, including those who are Data Processors and Data Controllers, to ensure compliance with European law on Data Privacy and Protection, both at the outset and on an ongoing basis, through
    • establishment of an Ethics Advisory Committee
    • statements of compliance for the relevant authorities
    • tracking ethical issues through the EEMS
  • contributing to the ethical framework to be used when engaging with participants in field work (D7.9)
  • make plain the project’s commitment to all participants in terms of ethics and privacy and ensure that there is a record of the agreement between the participant and the project.