EthiXPERT aims to build responsible and ethical research capacity in and for Africa. Research Ethics is fundamental for health, quality of life and social development. To this end, EthiXPERT is devoted to build capacity in responsible conduct of research by providing training and developing relevant tools to facilitate knowledge and skills development to health and social research stakeholders in Africa, including research institutions, institutions of higher learning, researchers, research integrity officers, research ethics committees and research administrators, among others. We acknowledge that research is dynamic, expensive and competitive. As such, no single individual, organisation or government can single-handedly realize the desired optimal health standards, quality of life and social development without the support of other institutions and the society at large. EthiXPERT therefore wishes to partner with relevant role players including decision-makers, research institutions, implementing agencies and funding organisations to identify important research gaps and to develop and deliver sustainable and culturally acceptable evidence-based solutions
A tree is a powerful symbol of growth, transformation and life. For us, being associated with a tree in autumn resembles our aspirations to inspire and grow research ethics and integrity capacity in and for Africa. Without roots, a tree cannot thrive. The principles underpinning research ethics and integrity are strong roots from which life-giving nourishment is extracted and distributed to allow nourishing the tree but also the research environment. The trunk of the tree symbolises steadfastness. The branches and leaves symbolise growth. Trees bring shade and life to harsh areas, provide living space for animals and birds and bring forth flowers and fruit, if needs be. In Africa, some trees are also very clever: They have thorns to protect themselves and can even produce things like tannin to change the taste of their leaves so that the giraffes don’t eat all the tasty leaves and growth points.
And there is just a sly nod that ethical leaders or members of research ethics committees can apply “decision trees” to help them to think through questions or dilemmas.
The Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) is an international organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with its main objective to strengthen research ethics capacity in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and to enable governments and institutions to find solutions for their health challenges. EthiXPERT has come to fruition as a result of COHRED’s dream for Africa, namely their desire to build the capacity of African institutions, enabling them to have adequate local knowledge, skills and expertise, and the tools to develop locally relevant solutions.
Founded by two former directors Prof Carel IJsselmuiden and Mrs Marzelle Haskins and the current CEO, Mr Francis Kombe, EthiXPERT was officially registered on 11 May 2018 in the Republic of South Africa under registration number 2018/289583/08. This Not-for-Profit Company has its head office in Pretoria, South Africa and is now driven by a new board of directors. This group of five experienced and committed non-executive directors will guide the work of EthiXPERT as it prepares for a new phase of development and growth under the leadership of the CEO.
COHRED is an international Not-for-Profit Company based in Geneva, Switzerland whose main objective is to strengthen research system capacity in LMICs and to enable governments and institutions to find solutions for their health, equity, and development challenges through research. COHRED does this through several initiatives, including the strengthening of the capacity of research ethics committees by enabling administrators, researchers, and reviewers to comprehensively manage the entire review cycle, including protocol submission, reviewing and approving protocols, and facilitating information management of RECs through an on-line platform called RHInnO Ethics. (https://www.cohred.org/).