The Research Fairness Initiative (RFI) aims to optimise the impact of research partnerships for all partners. Several institutions presented their experience with implementing the RFI guidelines and the value of the initiative. These guidelines concern:
- Fairness of opportunity (before research)
- Fair process (during research)
- Fair sharing of benefits, costs and outcomes (after research)
- Relevance of the research for the communities where is it done
- Equitable ownership and control of the data
- Authorship and fair recognition of contribution
- Follow-up after completion of the research.
Institutional RFI reports have a specific reference number and are valid for two years.
Carel IJsselmuiden (COHRED) mentioned that TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, established already 40 years ago, undertook to systematically review its activities in the context of RFI in order to:
- Improve and identify good practice
- Build capacity to improve health
- Identify areas of future collaboration, e.g. improving budgeting; reduce environmental impact; achieve SDGs; co-financing; local sourcing of consumables; how to work co-operatively
Marie-Paule Kieny from INSERM mentioned that all institutions in France are under the French National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health but operating independently. RFI would open doors for collaborations, develop deeper synergy within Inserm, strengthen capacity potential of research projects within Inserm; and Inserm could also contribute good practices to the RFI.
Souleymane Mboup from IRESSEF (Institut de Recherche en Santé, de Surveillance Epidémiologique et de Formation [Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training] showed a video of the new Senegalese institute with state-of-the art equipment to undertake cutting-edge research, with bio-banking facilities, social science, and a demographic platform. Prof Mboup realised a vision held dear for 40 years, with the help of partnerships both locally and internationally. A very impressive achievement!
Paulo Ferrinho from the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, Portugal presented how they are using the evidence based tool of RFI both internally within the four groups in their institute as well as with external partnerships. The RFI was important from the moral and ethical perspective in order that high standards are maintained.
Marieme Ba (Senegal) presented on the benefits of the RFI for national governments. She discussed the RFI reports of three Senegalese institutions. Top management of each was involved from the inception and the institutions clearly benefitted.