Tygerberg Research Ubuntu-Inspired Community Engagement Model: Integrating Community Engagement into Genomic Biobanking.

08:00 EDT 11th October 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Tygerberg Research Ubuntu-Inspired Community Engagement Model: Integrating Community Engagement into Genomic Biobanking."

Community engagement (CE) is an ethical imperative in research, but the knowledge base for what constitutes effective and ethically sound CE is limited. Ubuntu, as a component of responsive communitarianism where communal welfare is valued together with individual autonomy, is useful in furthering our understanding of effective CE and how it could best be achieved. Similarly, a relative solidarity model serves as a compromise between extreme individualism and extreme communalism and is more appropriate in a heterogenous African context. Approaching CE from an Ubuntu philosophical perspective in southern Africa is particularly important in genomic biobanking, given the implications for individuals, families, and communities. CE is often implemented in a token manner as an ancillary component of research. Understanding consent information is challenging where genomic biobanking is concerned due to scientific complexity. We started a process of CE around genomic biobanking and conducted empirical research in an attempt to develop a model to promote effective and ethically sound CE, using relative solidarity to create a nuanced application of Ubuntu. The TRUCE model is an eight-step model that uses social mapping to identify potential communities, establishes the scope of CE, and requires that communities are approached early. Co-creation strategies for CE are encouraged and co-ownership of knowledge production is emphasized. Recruiting and engaging communities at each stage of research is necessary. Evaluation and adaptation of CE strategies are included. Discussion and dissemination of results after the research is completed are encouraged. There is a significant gap between the theory of CE and its authentic application to research in Africa. This Ubuntu-inspired model facilitates bridging that gap and is particularly suited to genomic biobanking. The CE model enhances and complements the consent process and should be integrated into research as a funding and regulatory requirement where applicable.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Biopreservation and biobanking
ISSN: 1947-5543


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