Strengthening and improving the research protocols management process of the National Health Research Review Board(NHRRB)
In an effort to improve the research study application management process, the NHRRB with technical support from ICAP is in the process of implementing an online platform called Research for Health and Innovation( RHInnO).This is a web-based platform that automates the entire life-cycle of the research review process. The platform is now accessible through the Health Research Unit website. That is: www.shrswaziland.com
The NHRRB has successfully trained research stakeholders on how to navigate the platform. The initial training was facilitated by Francis Kombe-Project Manager for RHInnO ethics Africa, a Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) online ethics review project. Subsequent stakeholder trainings were facilitated by the secretariat of the Board with support from ICAP. The research stakeholders that were trained include: Ministry of Health, training institutions, Development Partners, NGOs as well as independent researchers.
During the training, researchers were introduced to the platform and further undertook a practical session under the guidance of the facilitating team for extensive exposure in order to build confidence on the system. In addition, the training provided the NHRRB with an opportunity to interact with the researchers and to present its mandate. The Board emphasized that RHInnO will strengthen interaction between the Board and researchers and that the platform creates transparency in the review process. For instance, RHInnO will enable researcher to track their applications from submission to completion of the review process. The platform will send notifications to researchers at every stage of the review. Researchers will benefit in that they will no longer have to contact or physically visit the office as this has been the practice with the paper based system.
Going forward, as mentioned earlier, the platform is already available for use by researchers through the SHR Website. The secretariat of the Board is available for technical assistance where it is required. The number to call is: 2404-0865.