Terms of reference


Organisational Structure

Article 8

8.1. The main organs of SIDCER are:

8.2. The Steering Committee is composed of a maximum of 21 members of which at least one representative of each regional forum member of SIDCER and representatives of organizations involved in international biomedical research and ethics. The number of representatives of organizations may not exceed the number of representatives of the regional fora.

8.3. The Advisory Board is composed of representatives of the national fora and organisations involved in international health research and ethics, which are members of SIDCER. There is only one representative per national forum and organization (article 12.2).

8.4. The Secretariat is composed of a Project Manager and staff.

8.5. The Steering Committee may create new organs when deemed necessary for achieving the aims of SIDCER.

Article 9

9.1 The SIDCER Steering Committee is charged with deciding SIDCER policy, planning the activities of SIDCER, directing SIDCER financial matters, and hiring SIDCER personnel. It shall render an account of its work in an Annual Report presented to the Annual General Assembly (article 16) and the Director of TDR/WHO.

9.2 The Steering Committee elects among itself the following officers: Steering Committee Chairperson, Co-Steering Committee Chairperson, Secretary, Education Officer, Ethics Officer, and Communications Officer. A Steering Committee member may not hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms. The Steering Committee Chairperson is chosen from among the representatives of the regional fora. The Director of TDR/WHO approves the officers of SIDCER.

9.3 The officers are elected for a period of three years. The election is organised by the Secretary during the first meeting of the new three-year term, as the first order of business of the meeting. All posts are declared open and an election is organised. The elections may take place by acclamation, a show of hands, or a secret ballot. The new officers take up their post immediately following the election.

9.4 At the end of each three-year period two partner organisations step down from the Steering Committee and, through proposal by the Fora Representatives and approval by the Director of TDR/WHO, two new organisations are invited to send a representative to the Steering Committee. No organisation may serve for more than nine consecutive years on the Steering Committee. Following a three-year absence, an organisation may be invited by proposal of the Fora and approval of the Director of TDR/WHO to again become a Partner Organisation.

9.5 The Steering Committee Chairperson is responsible for chairing Steering Committee meetings and the Annual General Assembly. Any of these activities may be delegated by the Steering Committee Chairperson to another member of the Steering Committee, to the Secretary, or to the Secretariat.

9.6 The Steering Committee Co-Chairperson assists the Steering Committee Chairperson in the latter's responsibilities and acts in the absence of the Steering Committee Chairperson where the absence is due to illness or unforeseen circumstances.

9.7 The Secretary is responsible for record keeping, for facilitating communication between the Steering Committee members, for producing the Annual Report for the Annual General Assembly, for the practical organisation of the Annual General Assembly, and other activities requested by the Steering Committee. The Secretary may request the Steering Committee Chairperson to delegate any of these responsibilities to another member of the Steering Committee or to the Secretariat.

9.8 The Education Officer is responsible for coordinating education programmes and materials within SIDCER and across the Fora. The Education Officer may request the Steering Committee Chairperson to delegate any of these responsibilities to another member of the Steering Committee or to the Secretariat.

9.9 The Ethics Committees Officer is responsible for coordinating the major issues in ethics to be addressed by SIDCER. The Ethics Officer is also responsible for ensuring the Good Ethical Practices of SIDCER as an organisation. The Ethics Officer may request the Steering Committee Chairperson to delegate any this responsibility to another member of the Steering Committee or to the Secretariat.

9.10 The Communications Officer is responsible for the production and dissemination of the SIDCER newsletter and any documents deemed important for the SIDCER organisation, in consultation with the Secretary, Education Officer, and Steering Committee Chairperson. The Communications Officer may request the Steering Committee Chairperson to delegate any of these responsibilities to another member of the Steering Committee or to the Secretariat.

9.11 All members of the Steering Committee may officially represent SIDCER at meetings and in correspondence. The Steering Committee Chairperson and the Project Manager are to be informed in a timely manner of all such representations.

Article 10

10.1 Steering Committee meetings are organised as required by the Steering Committee Chairperson or upon request of the Director of TDR/WHO. The meetings are open to all Steering Committee Members. The Advisory Board Chairperson and SIDCER Project Manager are invited to participate in the Steering Committee Meetings as observers. Other individuals may be invited to participate as observers to a Steering Committee Meeting providing none of the members object.

10.2 Decisions are taken by the Steering Committee on the basis of agreement between the representatives of the Fora present and the representatives of the Partner Organisations present at the Steering Committee meeting. A majority of Partner Organisations present and a majority of representatives from the Fora present must agree on a proposal for it to be accepted.

10.3 Decisions by the Steering Committee are presented to the Director of TDR/WHO for acceptance and implementation.

Article 11

Membership on the Steering Committee ends:

11.1 By a letter of withdrawal from the Steering Committee addressed to the Steering Committee Chairperson and the Director of TDR/WHO.

11.2 By the failure of a member organisation to participate in more than three consecutive Steering Committee meetings.

11.3 By a majority vote of the Steering Committee and acceptance by the Director of TDR/WHO on the grounds that the member organisation's are damaging to SIDCER. An organisation whose membership has been withdrawn must be informed in writing by the Steering Committee Chairperson. The member may appeal the proposal of the Steering Committee to the Director of TDR/WHO.

Article 12

12.1 The SIDCER Advisory Board is charged with advising the Steering Committee on creating an effective programme to address current needs in ethical review and Good Research Practice. It shall render an account of its work in an Annual Report presented to the Steering Committee Chairperson and the Annual General Assembly (article 16).

12.2 Nominations for organisations to sit on the Advisory Board may come from any member of the Steering Committee or Advisory Board. The Steering Committee proposes which national fora and organisations will be invited to join the Advisory Board. The proposals are presented to the Director of TDR/WHO for approval. The Steering Committee Chairperson is responsible for inviting national fora and organisations to join the Advisory Board. The fora and the organisations determine themselves who will represent them on the Advisory Board.

12.3 The Advisory Board provides advice only to the Steering Committee, in consultation and correspondence with the Steering Committee Chairperson or another member of the Steering Committee or Secretariat as designated by the Steering Committee Chairperson. Proposals fro the planning, designing, and financing of SIDCER are presented by the Steering Committee to the Director of TDR/WHO.

12.4 The Advisory Board elects among itself the following officers: Chairperson, Co-Chairperson, and Secretary. An Advisory Board member may not hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms. The Director of TDR/WHO approves the elected officers.

12.5 The officers are elected for a period of three years. The election is organised by the Secretary during the first meeting of the new three-year term, as the first order of business of the meeting. All posts are declared open and an election is organised. The elections may take place by acclamation, a show of hands, or a secret ballot. The new officers take up their post immediately following the election.

12.6 The Chairperson is responsible for chairing Advisory Board meetings and Co-Chairing the Annual General Assembly. Any of these activities may be delegated by the Chairperson to another member of the Advisory Board, to the Secretary, or to the Secretariat.

12.7 The Co-Chairperson assists the Chairperson in the latter's responsibilities and acts in the absence of the Chairperson where the absence is due to illness or unforeseen circumstances.

12.8 The Secretary is responsible for record keeping, for facilitating communication between the Advisory Board members, for communicating all advice to the Steering Committee, and other activities requested by the Advisory Board. The Secretary may request the Chairperson to delegate any of these responsibilities to another member of the Advisory Board or to the Secretariat.

12.9 All members of the Advisory Board may officially represent SIDCER at meetings, though not in correspondence, in cases where they have received the expressed agreement of the Steering Committee Chairperson. A report of such representation shall be made to the Steering Committee Chairperson and the Project Manager.

Article 13

Membership on the Advisory Board ends:

13.1 By a letter of withdrawal from the Advisory Board addressed to the Steering Committee Chairperson and the Director of TDR/WHO.

13.2 By the failure of a member organisation to participate in more than three consecutive Advisory Board meetings.

13.3 By a majority vote of the Advisory Board and a decision by the Director of TDR/WHO on the grounds that the member organisation's are damaging to SIDCER. An organisation whose membership has been withdrawn must be informed in writing by the Steering Committee Chairperson. The member may appeal the decision of the Advisory Board to the Director of TDR/WHO.

Article 14

14.1 The SIDCER Secretariat is charged with carrying out the proposals of the Steering Committee approved by the Director of TDR/WHO while providing overall coordination of SIDCER activities and establishing information exchange between the Fora.

14.2 The Secretariat is composed of a Project Manager and staff. The Project Manager and staff are appointed by the Director of TDR/WHO taking into to consideration the advice of the Steering Committee. Appointments are made according to a procedure adopted by the Steering Committee.

14.3 The Secretariat is responsible for fulfilling the following tasks:

14.4 The specific responsibilities of the Project Manager and staff are outlined in job descriptions.

14.5 The Project Manager may officially represent SIDCER in meetings and correspondence.

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