Text and Data Mining valid from 2019-01-21
Received: 6 April 2018
Accepted: 4 December 2018
First Online: 21 January 2019
Ethics approval and consent to participate
: The research team assessed the ethical issues involved in the work during the research design phase and found it to be limited due to the following reasons. First, the data (surveys and open-ended semi-structured interviews with VECs) were designed to be anonymous and did not need any personally identifying information. Second, an informed consent drafted in the local language, was shared with each participant which among other points clarified that their participation was voluntary and that they have the opportunity to opt out at any time with no consequences if they so desired. Third, there were no direct benefits of participation to either the individuals, the VEC or other participating organizations. Finally, all information was designed to be stored securely only with the researchers. Field staff were trained to work under the supervision of the researchers. Based on this evaluation, no major ethical concerns emerged and accordingly, no formal approval from the research committees was sought.
: Not applicable
: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.