A Case-Study of the Resources and Functioning of Two Research Ethics Committees in Western India

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international research, IRB performance/quality/assessment/evaluation, research ethics committee/IRB review, research ethics, in-depth interviews

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Assessing the resources and functioning of research ethics committees (RECs) in low-resource settings poses many challenges. We conducted a case study of two medical college RECs (A and B) in Western India utilizing the Research Ethics Committee Quality Assurance Self-Assessment Tool (RECQASAT) as well as in-depth interviews with representative members to evaluate REC effectiveness. REC A and B obtained 62% and 67% of allowable points on the RECQASAT. These scores together with findings from the in-depth interviews suggest the need for significant improvement in REC effectiveness particularly in the areas of membership and educational training, organizational aspects, recording minutes, communicating decisions, and REC resources. Developing evidence-based best practices and strengthening infrastructure are essential to enhancing REC efficacy in low-resource countries.

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Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, v. 11, issue 5, p. 387-396