Balancing Ethics and Culture: A Scoping Review of Ethico-Cultural and Implementation Challenges of the Individual-Based Consent Model in African Research

Richard Appiah*, Giuseppe Raviola, Benedict Weobong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: This review explores the ethico-cultural and implementation challenges associated with the individual-based informed consent (IC) model in the relatively collectivistic African context and examines suggested approaches to manage them.

Methods: We searched four databases for peer-reviewed studies published in English between 2000 to 2023 that examined the ethico-cultural and implementation challenges associated with the IC model in Africa.

Results: Findings suggest that the individual-based IC model largely misaligns with certain African social values and ethos and subverts the authority and functions of community gatekeepers. Three recommendations were proffered to manage these challenges, that researchers should: adopt a multi-step approach to IC, conduct a rapid ethical assessment, and generate an African-centered IC model.

Conclusions: A pluriversal, context-specific, multi-step IC model that critically harmonizes the cultural values of the local population and the general principles of IC can minimize ethics dumping, safeguard the integrity of the research process, and promote respectful engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Early online date18 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2024

Cite this