Reflections on ethics, care and online data collection during the pandemic: Researching the impacts of COVID-19 on migrants in Latin America
Vera Espinoza, Marcia
de la Reguera, Alethia Fernández
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Vera Espinoza, M., Fernández De La Reguera, A., Palla, I. and Bengochea, J. (2023) ‘Reflections on ethics, care and online data collection during the pandemic: Researching the impacts of COVID-19 on migrants in Latin America’, Migration Letters, 20(2), pp.325–335. Available at: https://doi.org/10.33182/ml.v20i2.2838.
While most borders in Latin America were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamics of mobility and immobility in the region did not stop. In this extreme context, there was a growing need to understand how the pandemic impacted migrant and refugee populations, as well as the long-lasting effects of measures implemented to mitigate its effects. With many migrants facing exacerbated conditions of vulnerability and with new working modalities affecting all members of society, especially those who were key respondents to protect migrants in the first year of the pandemic, key ethical questions emerged about how, when and where, should research be conducted. This paper reflects on the ethical challenges we faced – such as interviewees' research fatigue, negotiation of access, researcher’s positionality and the strategies to create rapport – and the methodological decisions we made in the context of a regional project (CAMINAR) that conducted online interviews with governmental and non-governmental actors working with migrants between June and August 2020.