What constitutes equitable data sharing in global health research? A scoping review of the literature on low-income and middle-income country stakeholders' perspectives
Evertsz N., Bull S., Pratt B.
Introduction Despite growing consensus on the need for equitable data sharing, there has been very limited discussion about what this should entail in practice. As a matter of procedural fairness and epistemic justice, the perspectives of low-income and middle-income country (LMIC) stakeholders must inform concepts of equitable health research data sharing. This paper investigates published perspectives in relation to how equitable data sharing in global health research should be understood. Methods We undertook a scoping review (2015 onwards) of the literature on LMIC stakeholders' experiences and perspectives of data sharing in global health research and thematically analysed the 26 articles included in the review. Results We report LMIC stakeholders' published views on how current data sharing mandates may exacerbate inequities, what structural changes are required in order to create an environment conducive to equitable data sharing and what should comprise equitable data sharing in global health research. Conclusions In light of our findings, we conclude that data sharing under existing mandates to share data (with minimal restrictions) risks perpetuating a neocolonial dynamic. To achieve equitable data sharing, adopting best practices in data sharing is necessary but insufficient. Structural inequalities in global health research must also be addressed. It is thus imperative that the structural changes needed to ensure equitable data sharing are incorporated into the broader dialogue on global health research.