Terms of reference
The initiative bears the name 'Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review' and the acronym 'SIDCER'.
SIDCER is a TDR/WHO initiative based on an international partnership aimed at developing capacity globally in ethical review and Good Research Practices. SIDCER is a not-for-profit, non-political, non-discriminatory, partnership initiative.
The official seat of the initiative is at TDR/WHO in Geneva.
English is the official working language of SIDCER. SIDCER is open to all other languages and, where possible, will try to facilitate the development of ethical review and Good Research Practice in other languages as appropriate to culture and custom.
Following an initial period of two years, TDR/WHO and the Steering Committee will evaluate the project and consider it for moving towards independence as an international association founded under Article 60 of the Swiss Civil Code.
Aim and Duration
6.1 SIDCER has the primary aim of fostering independent in-country decision-making regarding the ethics of health research by establishing an international network for promoting mutual understanding on issues affecting the dignity of research subjects and their communities.
6.2 SIDCER strives to achieve this objective through the following activities:
- to encourage the development of regional and country fora for members of ethical review committees;
- to solicit and provide support for established regional and country fora, as appropriate and as required;
- to foster partnerships at national, regional, and international levels with other entities or organizations sharing common values and common goals;
- to promote the development and implementation of actions designed to improve the quality of ethical review (e.g., accreditation);
- to facilitate and support education on substantive issues in biomedical research ethics related to ethical review, in collaboration with universities, international academies, and other relevant institutions/organisations;
- to assist in the collection, development, and distribution of educational materials for members of ethical review committees;
- to promote regional and country workshops for the implementation of the Operational Guidelines for Ethics Committees That Review Biomedical Research;
- to participate in international discussions on research ethics;
- to facilitate resource mobilization that ensures the sustainability of regional and country activities.
6.3 The initiative is established for an indefinite period of time.
7.1 The initiative engages partnerships with the following regional fora of ethical review committees as the core members:
- Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Asia & Western Pacific (FERCAP);
- Foro Latino Americano de Comités de Ética en Investigacion en Salud [Latin American Forum of Ethics Committees in Health Research] (FLACEIS);
- Pan-African Bioethics Initiative (PABIN);
- Forum for Ethics Committees in the Confederation of Independent States (FECCIS);
- Forum for Institutional Review Boards [IRBs] / Ethics Review Boards [ERBs] in Canada and the United States (FOCUS).
7.2 Membership is open to regional forum of ethical review committees as well as organizations involved in international biomedical research and research ethics.
7.3 National fora of ethical review committees may be members of SIDCER if they are not members of regional forum represented in SIDCER. To the same extent, individual persons may become members of SIDCER with the aim to create national or regional fora or contribute significantly to the realization of SIDCER's aims.
7.4 Nomination for a national forum, organization, or individual person to become a member of SIDCER may come from any member of SIDCER. Membership is based on proposal by the Steering Committee and approval by TDR/WHO.
7.5 Membership in SIDCER entitles each member (individual or organization) to a single voting representative at the Annual General Assembly.
7.6 Membership ends:
- For national fora and individual members by becoming member of a regional forum;
- By a letter of withdrawal from SIDCER addressed to the Steering Committee and TDR/WHO.
- By the failure to participate or be excused in more than three consecutive Annual General Assemblies.
- By a majority vote of the Steering Committee and acceptance by TDR/WHO that the member is damaging to SIDCER. An organisation whose membership has been withdrawn must be informed in writing by TDR/WHO. The member may appeal the decision of the Steering Committee to the Director of TDR/WHO.