Sensitive issues: Capacity building research seminar

Taboos, corruption, prejudices, illegal activities… Seminar on doing good research on ‘sensitive issues’ in policy areas

Background and aim

Part of the research on people, environment, natural resources and society relate to – or turn in to – 'difficult' or 'sensitive' issues (such as illegal logging, poaching, corruption). Sensitive issues may be situations where prejudices or taboos prevail and ethical issues or strong values and emotions are apparent. The study of such issues may involve using qualitative methods such as interviews, participant observation, focus groups or quantitative methods, such as surveys.

However, methodological problems may arise both in the data collection phase (e.g. difficulties in obtaining voluntary prior informed consent and obtain credible information) in the analysis (e.g. to get 'closer' to the unspoken and interpretation of the underlying issues) and lastly, the dissemination of results (e.g. in terms of participants and stakeholders).


The seminar involves a mix of presentations by international scholars on doing research on ”sensitive issues” related to people, environment and society, and an exploratory group and panel discussion relating the topics to participants’ own research, identifying knowledge gaps and challenges in relation to research methodology.


Please see here for the programme

Sign up

The seminar is open to all – researchers, PhD students, etc. and it is possible to sign up for the morning session only +/- lunch (lunch is included).

Please sign up before Tuesday 17 June 12:00 – we need to know for lunch orders – send an email to Jens Emborg (

If you have questions, please contact Jens Emborg ( or Christian Gamborg (