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Reflections from a Mother–Infant Intervention: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Research Collaboration 

Reflections from a Mother–Infant Intervention: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Research Collaboration
Chapter:
Reflections from a Mother–Infant Intervention: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Research Collaboration
Author(s):

Mark Tomlinson

, Peter J. Cooper

, Leslie Swartz

, and Mireille Landman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199213962.003.0044
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date: 15 October 2019

With particular reference to a mother–infant intervention in South Africa, Mark Tomlinson, Peter Cooper, Leslie Swartz, and Mireille Landman report frank, human rights-based reflections on international research collaborations between rich countries and low- and middle-income countries. They notice the bias in research publication between rich countries and LAMICs. They consider the ethics and power in research and researcher relationships, notably between researchers in rich and LAMI countries, within the LAMI country (a new observation), and also with research participants. The authors actively reflect on inter-group differentials of privilege, the question of insiders and outsiders and who speaks on behalf of the research or community. Challenges with researching motherhood in South Africa arose from race and gender relations in the context of institutionalized racial discrimination and cultural imperialism, and related problems with defining who was expert in infant care, creating a space for reflection about infants’ needs, and negotiating the traumas associated with childhood. Partnership models that address power and sharing the fruits of research are vital.

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