A Framework for Balancing Privacy and Accountability Needs in Evaluations of Social Research

PAD-79-33: Published: Mar 1, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 1979.

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Guidelines to aid auditors and evaluators of social research and social researchers in their efforts to cooperate with independent reviews are presented. Social research needs and risks are evaluated with regard to independent evaluation and confidentiality, and personal privacy and public accountability needs are discussed. In assessing the risk of the independent review, the character of the research, timing of the review, the purpose for which the data were collected, and the sensitivity of the data are considered. Alternatives to be taken into account by review teams include reviewing research procedures, comparing records, sampling independent groups, and the use of surrogate interviewers. The impact of legislation precluding disclosure of individually identified data in Federal agencies is examined.

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