Guiding principles for research activities at ACT

Support for ACT’s Strategic Plan
ACT bases its research activities on the direction and priorities outlined in its Strategic Plan. Therefore, research priorities support the priorities of the organization as a whole.

Working with community partners
Within the framework of ACT’s Strategic Plan, ACT works with community-based organizations, universities and other nonprofit organizations, and community members to:

    • identify opportunities for research partnerships and collaboration;
    • develop and undertake research activities that:
(a) address community needs;
(b) benefit communities in practical ways;
(c) involve community members in the research process in meaningful ways;
(d) promote and facilitate partnerships among community-based organizations
(e) build capacity among staff, community members and community-based organizations to address issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention, outreach, support.

Respect for research participants
ACT conducts research either to evaluate existing programs or to explore new and innovative program ideas. Consequently, researchers often interview or survey research participants about their opinions, beliefs, ideas, experiences and behaviours that are pertinent to specific research topics. Research is one way for service users and other participants to voice their needs and ideas, and for participants and community-based organizations to explore ways of addressing needs more effectively.

ACT bases its treatment of research participants on the following ethical principles:
    • Respect for human dignity
    • Respect for free and informed consent
    • Respect for vulnerable persons
    • Respect for privacy and confidentiality
    • Respect for justice and inclusiveness
    • Avoid harm
    • Maximize benefits

Sharing knowledge
ACT is committed to sharing knowledge with service users, organizations that offer services to people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, university-based researchers, and policy makers. The way in which we present research results and findings depends on the information needs and capacity of the respective audiences, ACT’s capacity to support different dissemination activities, and the priority that ACT gives to potential target audiences. ACT will continue to develop informational materials and use channels that are appropriate to the needs and capacity of various audiences.