CANREC is the Caribbean Network of Research Ethics Committees. It is a network established by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) with the cooperation of Research Ethics Committees (RECs/IRBs) across the CARPHA member states.

CARPHA is the principal regional institution responsible for defining and responding to the public health priorities of its twenty-four (24) member states. Health research is strongly supported by CARPHA as such research is imperative to mitigate the perennial challenges to human health and well-being in the region. Good health is required for productivity and development in member states.

International research ethics guidelines require that all research with human participants be submitted for the ethical review of the research protocol by a research ethics committee/IRB having jurisdictional responsibility for the location in which the proposed research will be conducted. CANREC members are such research ethics committees/IRBs within the region.

Membership in CANREC is open to all institutional and national RECs/IRBs in CARPHA member states.

Modus Operandi

An Executive Committee elected from members of CANREC provides technical guidance and oversight for the work of CANREC. The executive committee constitutes five (5) members elected to serve a three (3) year term.CARPHA is responsible for coordinating the work of CANREC and communicating with member RECs/IRBs about pertinent matters.

Executive Members

  1. Balford Lewis – REC Chair, University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica
  2. Kareem Coomansingh – IRB Administrator, St. George’s University (SGU), Grenada
  3. Michael Campbell – Chair, IRB Ministry of Health/UWI Barbados
  4. Susan Chand – Co Chair, University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago
  5. Shamdeo Persaud – Chair, IRB Ministry of Health, Guyana
  6. Terese Maitland – REC, Ministry of Health, Turks and Caicos
  7. Cynthia Lewis Graham – REC, Ministry of Health, Jamaica

Terms of Reference

  1. Establishment of the Network

    The Network is established by the cooperation of Research Ethics Committees/IRBs across the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Member States.
  2. Purpose of the Network

    To provide a sustainable infrastructure for research ethics committees/IRBs within CARPHA member states to promote, exchange, and cooperate intra-regionally and internationally in matters of research and research ethics.

    To provide harmonization of multidisciplinary ethical reviews between network members to improve the protection of human participants in all aspects of research involving human beings, human material and data.

    To lend support as appropriate to the development of capacity for the ethical review of research in the areas of environmental health, biosafety and animal care.

    To augment the sharing of information and intellectual resources, policies, and review strategies among network members.
  3. Objectives of the Network

    • Collect information on research ethics committees in CARPHA member states to build a basis for mutual exchange
    • Collect, evaluate, and share training materials and related information for research ethics committee/IRB members to enhance the quality of protocol review
    • Facilitate exchanges of knowledge, ‘know-how’, and information among network members
    • Provide technical assistance/advice on matters related to research ethics in CARPHA member states, in conjunction with CARPHA
    • Facilitate the ethical review of multi-country studies in conjunction with CARPHA
    • Conduct capacity-building to facilitate the development of national research ethics committee networks
    • Identify emerging ethical issues to develop common solutions for challenges posed by new technologies and scientific methodologies
    • Provide a Regional Registry for all research approved in the region served by CARPHA member states
  4. Membership Composition

    Membership shall be open to all national, regional, and institutional research ethics committees/IRBs in CARPHA member states.
  5. Modus Operandi of the Network

    The Secretariat of the Network shall reside under the Office of the Executive Director, the Caribbean Public Health Agency. An Executive Committee elected by members of CANREC shall provide technical guidance and oversight of the work of CANREC. The Executive Committee shall constitute five (5) members on staggered terms to ensure continuity and be elected by CANREC members every  3 years. The  Executive Committee and CARPHA, shall be responsible for coordinating the work of the network and communicating with member RECs/IRBs about pertinent matters. A webpage for the Network shall be established and maintained by the Caribbean Public Health Agency on its website.