Reflections on Ethics in Research with Older Displaced Persons in West Timor: Considering the “Time Effect”

  • Victoria Kumala Sakti (Author)
  • Deastry Yulita Taek (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The perspective of time towards migration and displacement has emerged as a key research interest. However, less attention has been granted to the role that time plays in shaping methodological and ethical considerations in research settings. This paper develops this point by reflecting on the authors’ research process with older East Timorese adults living amid ongoing displacement conditions for over two decades in West Timor, Indonesia. Examining their ageing experiences provides insight into what it means to live through displacement over time and space. However, older people are among the groups of displaced populations considered most vulnerable, requiring the researcher to consider particular methodological sensitivity. This paper argues that understandings of time, reflexivity and the ways lives are linked in relation to people’s later-life experiences in exile can provide useful tools for dealing with ethical and pragmatic dilemmas.


Research ethics, older persons, displaced persons, time, life course, reflexivity, vulnerability, East Timorese, West Timor, Indonesia