written by Jennifer van der Broeke
Our ENIEC mission is to contribute:
• to ‘achieving an equal chance on good health, well-being and quality of life for older persons from ethnic minorities within Europe’ and
• to ‘ensure that the strengths and valuable contribution of older persons from ethnic minorities to societies are visible and acknowledged’.
For us as members to be able to make this contribution, many of us we often make use of scientific findings. This is either directly by applying useful outcomes in daily practice, or indirectly, for instance in policy or education.
However, we see that older migrants, as well as other people in socially vulnerable situations, are underrepresented in research – in shaping and conducting research as well as in participating as respondents. They are often called “hard to reach”. A number of obstacles stand in the way of research that is done in an inclusive manner (inclusive research), e.g. invitations full of difficult sentences and words, inclusion criteria, and complicated consent procedures. Even if people feel included, there are obstacles, such as questionnaires that are not validated – and are inappropriate – which are still used because comparison of data through the years is important.
ENIEC members Saloua Berdai Chaouni, Roshnie Kolste and myself will try to contribute to the ENIEC mission on October 3rd 2019 at an invitational conference in Utrecht at Pharos, the Dutch Center of Expertise on Health Disparities. Together with members from the University of Humanistic studies, the Radboud UMC and the Erasmus MC, we hope to have a fruitful discussion about inclusive research with members of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research and of the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects. Saloua will share her findings of a four year research on how older migrants from ethnic minorities are included in gerontological research, and on which frameworks can help us to include these silenced voices in a more ethical way in research. After a her presentation, we aim to identify barriers for meaningful participation of migrant elderly in all phases of research, to collect solutions the participants have found or think would help, and to share good examples.
We will share more of the proceeds with you in a following newsletter!