Letter from the African Independent Ethics Committee (AIEC): Advice for institutional ethics committees on process, roles, composition and decolonisation
The AIEC was set up to provide ethics advice to African researchers, initially with a bias on social work and development. Ultimately, the committee will be enlarged to include people who work with communities, African cultural experts, social scientists from other disciplines, professionals from other disciplines and lawyers. When fully fledged, the committee will be able to provide full ethics services. It was started by the African Social Work Network (ASWNet) to address a gap that exists currently in African research, that of inadequate ethics oversight. This letter will be published three times a year, once in each third of the year. The authors are the current members of the AIEC. In this first ethics letter, we provide a brief review of literature on African ethics, provide key definitions and advice to ethics on the process of developing committees, roles of stakeholders, composition and decolonising.