AMÉLIORER project: strengthening research ethics and regulatory capacities in Benin

The AMÉLIORER project was set up in response to the need to strengthen the supervision of research carried out in Benin, by improving the system of ethical evaluation and monitoring, and by setting up an accreditation system for institutional research ethics committees. Completed in July 2023, the project has shared its main results and impact.

Following the implementation of the AMÉLIORER project, the national and institutional research ethics committees moved from manual mode to online protocol evaluation, through the installation of the Rhinno Ethics platform. With this platform, the ethical assessment of research projects is now more dynamic and efficient, which has facilitated the standardisation and overall performance of the assessment of research projects, and reduced assessment times at the various stages. For example, the number of research projects evaluated by the Research Ethics Committee of the Institute of Applied Biomedical Sciences has increased from 11 projects in 2021, to 25 projects in 2022, and a total of 38 projects in 2023. Moreover, the time between the submission of these projects and the ethical decision has been reduced from 54.16 days in 2021 to 41 days in 2023.

Another important achievement of the AMÉLIORER project is the development and validation of an accreditation guide for Research Ethics Committees. Additionally, the project has developed a sustainable funding framework for ethics committees in Benin. These two tools, which contribute to improving the ethical and regulatory landscape in Benin, were presented to the ministerial authority.