The Centre for Professional Ethics is an internationally known research institution at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. Since its establishment in 1993, it has gained a reputation for excellence in various areas of ethics, especially medical ethics and global justice. The Centre has significant expertise in coordinating and participating in European projects as well as projects funded by other sources (e.g. Wellcome Trust, German Ministry of Science, Academy of Finland, Nordic Academy of Advanced Studies, ESRC, European Research Council).
Since Prof. Schroeder took on the leadership of the Centre in 2004, the majority of projects and activities deal with questions of global research ethics, global justice, and human rights and medicine. In the last 12 years, the Centre has co-ordinated large‐scale international projects on benefit sharing, community consent & indigenous populations, ethics in science policy, access to essential drugs, performance‐based pharmaceutical rewards as a supplement to the intellectual property rights system and responsible research and innovation. The global outreach of the Centre is considerable, with long‐standing collaborations across the world and excellent links to policy makers and advisors.
The Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) is an international, independent, nonprofit and non‐governmental organisation with offices in Geneva (Switzerland), Gaborone (Botswana) and Belo Horizonte (Brazil). COHRED has over 20 years hands‐on experience in developing tools and delivering support to maximise the impact of research and innovation on the health and development of low and middle income country populations. Whilst COHRED’s mission is broad, its success in global research ethics is exemplified by the following quote:
The added value that COHRED has brought to our work has come mainly through technical, financial and strategic support. However, I think the most significant contributions are the two tools ‘Health Research Web’ and ‘RHInnO Ethics’. These have enabled us to develop our own national research priorities and provide online platforms for health research.Dr Samba Cor Sarr, Director of Research, Ministry of Health, Senegal
The Forum for Ethics Review Committees in India (FERCI) is set up as a registered society under the Registrar General of India as the Indian Chapter of FERCAP (Forum for Ethics Review Committees in Asia Pacific), an initiative by the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). The objective of FERCI is to foster an improved understanding and implementation of ethical review of biomedical research studies in India. FERCI strives to achieve this goal through:
- Improving communication amongst ethics committees,
- Assisting in the development and implementation of standard operating procedures for ethical review,
- Facilitating training opportunities and education of ethics committee members and
- Assisting ethics committees to obtain accreditation from national and international agencies.
FERCI works in close collaboration with national and international organisations (e.g. WHO, Unicef, UNDP, World Bank). It also organises national conferences on contemporary issues in alternate years attended by current and aspiring members of ethics committees.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was founded in 1945 to strive for peace on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. UNESCO builds networks among nations that enable solidarity, by:
- Promoting access to quality education as a fundamental human right
- Building intercultural understanding: through the protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity (e.g. UNESCO World Heritage)
- Pursuing scientific cooperation and
- Protecting freedom of expression as an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.
Since the 1970s, UNESCO’s involvement in the field of bioethics has reflected the international dimensions of this debate. Founded on the belief that there can be no peace without the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind, UNESCO tries to involve all countries in this international and transcultural discussion.
The South African San Institute (SASI) was registered in 1996 as a non‐governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to serving the San communities of Southern Africa (mostly South Africa, Namibia and Botswana). The San’s distinct hunter‐gatherer culture stretches back over 20,000 years, and their genetic origins reach back over one million years. Recent research indicates that the San, the aboriginal peoples of Southern Africa, carry the oldest genetic heritage of contemporary humanity. At the same time, they are a highly marginalised impoverished community with low levels of education and very high levels of unemployment. Over the past 20 years SASI has provided legal, advocacy, socio‐anthropological and related services, in a series of programmes dedicated to the practical empowerment of the San people.
The ‘Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale’ (Inserm) is an internationally known research institution established more than 50 years ago which operates under the joint authority of the French Ministry of Health and the French Ministry of Research. As the only French public research institute to focus entirely on human health, in 2008 Inserm took on the responsibility for the strategic, scientific and operational coordination of French biomedical research. As regard to its international dimension, Inserm played a leading role in creating the European Research Area and boosts its standing abroad through close partnerships (teams and partner laboratories), which includes International Associated Laboratories in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and in Africa. Also, since 2012, Inserm is in charge of the administrative support for the French National Agency for Research in AIDS and Hepatitis (ANRS), internationally renowned for the numerous studies funded in low and middle income countries since its launch in 1988.
The University of Manitoba/University of Nairobi HIV/AIDS collaborative Research Group has been working in Kenya since 1983 under the brand name Kenya AIDS Control Project (KACP). This entity was however not legally constituted and depended wholly on memoranda of understandings that were renewed every 5 years. To conform to the ever changing funding, research and capacity building requirements from donors, the University of Manitoba administrators opted to register an international Non‐Governmental Organization (NGO) in Kenya in 2013. This new vehicle is facilitating expansion of the ongoing research portfolio, scale up the available educational and capacity building opportunities across several universities in the country and enhance Manitoba’s contribution to international development besides providing the required legal status. This NGO; Partners for Health and Development in Africa (PHDA), has since then inherited all of the University of Manitoba supported activities in Kenya.
From the beginning, the University of Manitoba research group (now PHDA) has been working with key populations, specifically low socio‐economic strata female sex workers residing in the informal settlements of Nairobi. The group has been championing HIV prevention and health rights for female sex workers in Kenya despite the unfavourable legal framework since the mid‐80s. Use of peer leaders and peer led networks in community engagement and demand creation for the services on offer has been a key strategy in working with this high risk population. More recently, male sex workers are also supported and involved in research.
Action Contre La Faim was founded in 1979 by a group of French intellectuals in response to the emergency in Afghanistan. These included Françoise Giroud, Bernard Henri Lévy, Marek Halter, Alfred Kastler (a Nobel Laureate in physics), Guy Sorman, Jacques Attali, and several other doctors, journalists and writers. While the fight against hunger had previously been an element of more general humanitarian action (the fight against poverty, promoting better health, etc.) they founded an organisation that was exclusively dedicated to ending hunger. ACF is now recognised as one of the leading organisations in the fight against hunger worldwide.
The Department of Environmental & Geographical Science (EGS) at the University of Cape Town was established in 1984 following a merger between the Department of Geography and the School of Environmental Studies. The department, the largest of its kind in South Africa, is academically engaged in a wide range of sub‐disciplinary teaching, research and outreach activities with a focus in three academic teaching and research themes: Earth System Science, Human Geography and Environment and Sustainability.
In January 2013, a Research Chair focused on Social and Environmental Dimensions of the Bioeconomy was established in the Department, funded by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation and led by Associate Professor Rachel Wynberg. The Bio‐Economy Research Chair aims to improve understanding of approaches within the bio‐economy that facilitate poverty reduction in a manner that is socially just and environmentally sustainable, and to stimulate a community of practice with regard to these approaches. The Chair has a strong focus on engagement with communities, indigenous knowledge holders, and policy‐makers, embedding within it a practice of engaged scholarship and social responsiveness.
Signosis Sprl. is an innovative research consultancy, founded in Belgium. Signosis has the vision to become one of the most innovative companies in managing knowledge. The company’s aim is to explore and develop all necessary mechanisms and breakthrough practices in order to achieve the goal of managing our knowledge resources coherently, timely and effectively.
Signosis possesses a diverse and in‐depth know‐how in the design and management of R&D projects and offers consultancy in a range of areas, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), sustainability, social policy as well as disciplines focusing on promoting and implementing innovation in companies and public organisations.
The company’s experts have many years of experience in the Management and Consultancy sector. Signosis operates a network of professionals and experts from around Europe and regularly undertakes international project management, carrying out research activities and programmes, implementing studies and assessments and raising awareness through implementation of an effective and well‐articulated dissemination strategy. Its targeted clients are Ministries, Local Government Departments, the Public and NGOs and private companies.
The Foundation Global Values Alliance (FGVA) is a Basel‐based non-commercial and non‐profit foundation, which serves as a think‐tank for global business and policy makers as well as an advocacy agency for international development. The Foundation’s vision is to develop a “corridor of good responsible practices” for globally operating companies. This corridor defines norms of ethical behaviour that take account of the cultural, social and political contexts of specific countries while embracing globally accepted values.
The Foundation works closely with UN agencies on the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact.
The Foundation relies on strategic research and implementation partnerships with international organizations and institutions. Its most ambitious aim is to achieve a paradigm shift in international development policy by motivating decision makers in business, politics and society to enact global values in their practical actions and thereby serve the needs of the poor better.
The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) was created in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by the three main poverty‐related diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These three diseases still account for over 3.5 million deaths each year, with the greatest burden of disease in sub‐Saharan Africa, where apart from ravaging lives, they impede development and cause serious poverty.
The mission of EDCTP is to accelerate research and development of drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and some neglected infectious diseases by supporting and conducting clinical trials using best practice. This includes adherence to ethics, good clinical practice, regulatory and other applicable guidelines. Paramount to this is the protection of safety, confidentiality and integrity of the research participants and their communities in accordance to international standards.
Recognisant of the fact that ethics and regulatory oversight may not be optimal globally, the EDCTP has made it a priority to strengthen ethics and regulatory framework in sub‐Saharan Africa. During the last decade, the EDCTP has spearheaded the strengthening of institutional review boards and national ethics committees in sub‐Saharan Africa through support for human resource development and infrastructural development towards making them both functional and independent. The EDCTP is well recognized as a neutral funding partner that has established confidence among the global funding community, African and European governments, as well ethics and regulatory bodies in Africa and Europe.
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits) is one of the biggest (and top) Universities in Africa. The University has established itself at the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa, Gauteng Province, as a centre for education and research of the highest quality. Currently, the University is home to approximately 32,500 students, about 1,100 permanent and 500 temporary academic staff members. Wits has already participated in more than 20 EU funded projects, drawn from EU R&D programmes such as FP6, FP7, EuropeAid, and ACP.
The main WITS participants in TRUST are members of the School of Law. Established in 1922, the University of Witwatersrand’s Oliver Schreiner School of Law has a long established reputation as a premier centre for legal studies. Situated in Johannesburg, it is one of Africa’s top law schools and has a reputation for leading edge research, active public engagement, excellent teaching and rigorous training. It is particularly renowned for the leading role it played in shaping some of the country’s most important legislation, most notably the South African Constitution and Human Rights legislation. Individually, members of staff remain connected to the world of practice, and have acted as advisors and consultants to government departments, international organisations and the private sector.