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Ethical Considerations

At the core of this project lies the documentation of data generated by the movements of individuals while negotiating the landscape. Thus a record is built up of where the participants of the research scheme moved as well as their heart rate in any moment. This will later feed into formulae which also include personal data such as weight and body height.

This type of record demands a strict protocol as regards the management of these data, following the European General Data Protection Regulation of 2016 (DSGVO). To ensure compliance with the DSGVO data are hosted on servers located in Europe. If certain data will nonetheless and inevitably be transferred to non-European servers (such as with the use of certain smart watches), this needs particular consent of the study participants.

During fieldwork, data are recorded anonymised without direct relation to specific people. But since the trackers are part of the research team, physical data will be further summarised to exclude conclusions on individual physical data. Access to the raw data is allowed only for the three researchers involved in the project (O. Vogels. E. Paliou and T. Lenssen-Erz). Participants of the study have the right of access to their personal data and they have a right to demand their deletion at any time.

Before the start of the study all participants have given their written consent to participation, to the recording and storage of data as well as to the use of pictures and audio protocols (both of which were accepted).       

In addition to these voluntary precautions as regards data management, IKAi has applied for certification of the project at the Ethical Commission of the University of Cologne. Ethical clearance for IKAi was issued by the commission on 16 March 2020 (Ethical clearance ID: 20-1038).

For the time of the employment within the IKAi study, the Namibian participants are paid according to University of Cologne’s salary list similar to scientific research assistents (WHK). For the period of their employment an insurance is taken out covering accident, illness and death.


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