The People's Panel - cost of living: research findings

Research findings from the 'People's Panel' on the cost of living from March 2022 to March 2023. This publication also details the background and motivation for developing the People’s Panel, how it was delivered and what impact it has made.

Appendix F: Ethics

Ethical considerations were carefully addressed. In summary:

1. Scottish Government Social Research Ethical Sensitivity Checklist: The ethical foundation of the study was established by addressing ethical considerations, which commenced with the comprehensive completion of the Scottish Government Social Research Ethical Sensitivity Checklist. This ensured that the study was conducted with the highest ethical standards and upheld the principles of responsible research conduct.

2. Informed Consent: Prior to their involvement in the People’s Panel, all participating members were informed about the purpose and nature of the research. They were provided with a clear and thorough understanding of the study’s objectives, methodologies, and potential outcomes. Informed consent was obtained from each member, indicating their voluntary willingness to participate in the study based on a well-informed decision.

3. Right to Withdraw: Members were not only informed about their participation but also explicitly made aware of their right to withdraw from the research at any point. This was granted without the requirement to provide a reason, and it was underscored that their decision to withdraw would have no negative repercussions whatsoever.

4. Data Protection Compliance: Recognising the importance of safeguarding personal information, the study adhered to the guidelines outlined by the UK General Data Protection Regulations. All personal data and information collected from the members were treated with the utmost care and stored securely to prevent unauthorised access or breaches.

5. Ethical Principles Governing Social Research: The research was conducted in alignment with the ethical principles that underpin social research. These principles encompassed respect for individual autonomy, ensuring beneficence, upholding non-maleficence, and promoting justice throughout the research process.

6. Confidentiality and Anonymity: To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the participants, stringent measures were implemented. The only individuals who had access to the identities and personal characteristics of the members were the designated research team members.

7. Anonymization of Data: The study anonymized all members' information and data before incorporating it into subsequent reports.



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