Ethics is at the centre of all the work that is conducted at the Programme, as an area of scientific enquiry and in the operations of the Programme’s activities. Our aim is to contribute to ethics discourse, policy and practice for health and research systems through innovative empirical ethics and normative discourses. We are proactive and anticipatory in our ethics inquiries, conducting empirical ethics studies to unpack ethical issues in new fields of scientific enquiry including in emerging technologies (e.g biobanking, open science, gene technologies); ethically complex topics (involvement of vulnerable populations, young persons, people with intellectual disability in health research); new research approaches and designs (e.g. Human Infection studies; pragmatic trials, issues that emerge in epidemic situations including COVID19); and areas that require revisiting using an ethics lens (e.g. decolonisation). Our work feeds into and draws upon wider national and global networks that we are members of, and which we continue to strengthen and expand.
Embedding our work within health systems: we work in close partnership with policy makers to facilitate translation and policy impact. Over 80 Ministry of Health stakeholders participated in a Research Priority setting meeting held in Nairobi; an additional 30 policy makers participated in our quarterly policy dialogues. During COVID-19, we developed and disseminated over 20 COVID-19 policy briefs. We were appointed as a regional policy observatory under the Africa Health Observatory Platform.