Progress in centralised ethics review processes: Implications for multi-site health evaluations

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Abstract

Increasingly, public sector programmes respond to complex social problems that intersect specific fields and individual disciplines. Such responses result in multi-site initiatives that can span nations, jurisdictions, sectors and organisations. The rigorous evaluation of public sector programmes is now a baseline expectation. For evaluations of large and complex multi-site programme initiatives, the processes of ethics review can present a significant challenge. However in recent years, there have been new developments in centralised ethics review processes in many nations. This paper provides the case study of an evaluation of a national, inter-jurisdictional, cross-sector, aged care health initiative and its encounters with Australian centralised ethics review processes. Specifically, the paper considers progress against the key themes of a previous five-year, five nation study (. Fitzgerald and Phillips, 2006), which found that centralised ethics review processes would save time, money and effort, as well as contribute to more equitable workloads for researchers and evaluators. The paper concludes with insights for those charged with refining centralised ethics review processes, as well as recommendations for future evaluators of complex multi-site programme initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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