What Constitutes Equitable Data-Sharing in Global Health Research? Views from Low- and Middle- Income Countries

Ms Natalia Evertsz1

1University Of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


Despite growing consensus on the need for equitable data-sharing, there has been limited discussion about what this entails. Due to their familiarity with contextual challenges to equity, the perspectives of low- and middle-income country (LMIC) stakeholders are essential to inform the concept of equitable research data-sharing. However, there are few studies documenting their views on what comprises equitable data-sharing in global health research.


This paper aims to investigate LMIC stakeholders’ views in relation to equitable data sharing in global health research by reviewing the most up-to-date literature from the last six years.


A systematic search of the literature was performed and thematic analysis of fifteen articles was undertaken using a thematic framework approach.


Five background conditions creating an inequitable research environment were identified: unequal research system capacity and resourcing; emigration of trained research staff, limited local policy or legal governance and a competitive research environment. Twelve threats to equity under the current data-sharing regime were identified and classified according to threats to researchers, threats to participants and communities, threats to local health systems and threats to science and research overall. Numerous aspects of best practice were identified to support redressing background inequities, to build trust between primary and secondary researchers, and to address the threats to equity perceived by stakeholders.


The current data-sharing regime not only dissuades data-sharing in LMICs but is also highly inequitable. In order for data-sharing to be successful and for global health benefits to be unlocked, an equitable approach is required.


Natalia is a final year medical student with a research interest in issues of social justice and equity in global health research. Supervised by Dr Bridget Pratt, her current research areas include community engagement in health research priority-setting, and equity in data-sharing practices.

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