Received: 20 April 2021
Accepted: 8 September 2021
First Online: 11 October 2021
: The study data were derived from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Highland Peoples Survey (HPS) II, conducted in 2010 by trained staff of the Thailand Bureau of Social Development (BSD), with survey guidance provided by the Thai National Statistics Office. As a government survey, the instrument and research protocol were subject to state ethics Guidelines and approval. This was not a health survey and did not collect personal health information. Nonetheless, trained field staff obtained documented informed consent via village meetings and individual discussion prior to conducting questionnaire-assisted interviews with each participating adult household representative. Due to high levels of illiteracy among the study population, the Thailand BSD obtained documented oral consent, certified via thumbprint, as is customary in official research proceedings between government officials and local communities in this region of Thailand. This data collection protocol followed contemporary UNESCO ethical guidelines for research with Indigenous populations, including Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. The dataset analyzed by the study authors did not include any identifiable information. This study analysis was completed at University of Wisconsin (UW) as non-human subjects research, with exemption status confirmed by the University of Wisconsin Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (UW IRB ID: 2012–0872). Administrative permission was required for accessing the raw de-identified data and was granted to the lead author by the UNESCO Bangkok Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education Chief of Information and Knowledge Management. Because the study qualifies as non-human subjects research (exemption status confirmed by UW IRB), the need for a local Thai institutional ethics committee review was deemed unnecessary.
: Not applicable.
: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.