9 years on, the South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Accord remains as relevant as ever
September 2nd 2023 will mark 9 years since the South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Accord, was signed by representatives from SAHMRI, The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia, Flinders University the Aboriginal Health Council of SA, and The Council of Aboriginal Elders South Australia.
The South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Accord was developed by the SAHMRI Wardliparingga Aboriginal Health Equity theme through a series of consultations with Aboriginal Elders, organisations and community members.
The signing of this landmark document served as a commitment to conduct Aboriginal health research in South Australia in alignment with the nine principles set out within the accord:
Priorities- Research should be conducted on priorities arising from and endorsed by the Aboriginal community to enhance acceptability, relevance and accountability.
Involvement- The involvement of Aboriginal people and organisations is essential in developing, implementing and translating research.
Partnership- Research should be based on the establishment of mutual trust, and equivalent partnerships, and the ability to work competently across cultures.
Respect- Researchers must demonstrate respect for Aboriginal knowledge, Aboriginal knowledge systems and custodianship of that knowledge.
Communication- Communication must be culturally and community relevant and involve a willingness to listen and learn.
Reciprocity- Research should deliver tangible benefits to Aboriginal communities. These benefits should be determined by Aboriginal people themselves and consider outcomes and processes during, and as a result of, the research.
Ownership- Researchers should acknowledge, respect, and protect Aboriginal intellectual property rights and ensure transparent negotiation of intellectual property use and benefit sharing.
Control- Researchers must ensure the respectful and culturally appropriate management of all biological and non-biological research materials.
Knowledge translation and exchange- Sharing and translation of knowledge generated through research must be integrated into all elements of the research process to maximise impact on policy and practice.
Reflecting on this document 9 years later, these principles remain as relevant and as important as they have ever been.We acknowledge the vision, approach and commitment of the team that drove this work in 2014, led by Kim Morey, who is now co-lead of the SAHMRI Aboriginal Health Equity theme. Kim is very committed to doing Aboriginal health research the right way and is one of our expert presenters at the HTSA Research Translation Essentials Course that we are convening running in September and December 2023.
We encourage you to explore the accord companion document.
Executive Director, Health Translation SA