UNESCO's “Assisting Bioethics Committees” Project: 1st Training Session in Malawi

When :

from Thursday 22 November, 2012
to Saturday 24 November, 2012

Type of event :

Category 7-Seminar and Workshop

Where :


Contact :

At the request of Malawi where a National Bioethics Committee has just been created, this 3-day training aims to clarify the role and mission of this newly established committee helping its members to develop clear working methods and rules of procedure, as well as initiatives for public information and for networking.<br /><br/>A first activity to be implemented in the framework of the UNESCO’s “Assisting Bioethics Committees” (ABC) capacity building project in Malawi, this 1st training session will allow the seventeen members of the newly-created National Bioethics Committee to exchange views among themselves and with other experts, as well as learn about practices of other National Bioethics Committees, some of which are operational for a much longer time.<br /><br />While the National Bioethics Committee will develop its own work methods according to its mandate, sharing experiences will allow the newly-created to learn from predecessors in preparing its work. <br /><br />A part of UNESCO’s bioethics capacity building initiative, and with a view to enhancing the usefulness of the ABC project, in which framework this training takes place, aims at supporting countries that wish to develop their National Bioethics Committees (NBC). The ABC project accompanies the new committee over a course of 3 years providing one training per year and a variety of resources.<br /><br />This cycle of trainings is led by UNESCO staff and other international experts from among UNESCO’s partners. The participants actively tailor the trainings to their needs so as to strengthen their newly-established institution.<br /><br />The content of the trainings rely on a series of guides that UNESCO has produced, and also on the UNESCO Bioethics Core Curriculum, which is designed around the internationally-agreed human rights standards e.g. as laid out in “Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.” The training acknowledges and invites exchange on local variation in the practice of ethics in support of universal principles.<br /><br />Special consideration is given to promoting gender equality in terms of the content of materials used for training and the development of the agendas and plans of the National Bioethics Committees. <br /><br />For the trainings, as well as for the Capacity Building initiative as a whole, UNESCO gives special consideration to addressing first African states, in line with demand. <br /><br />The trainings for newly-created Committees have been conducted, and evaluated as successful, since 2008 in Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Togo, and Chad. <br /><br />The first beneficiary country that has completed the 3 training cycle is Kenya (November 2011). Similar trainings have or will also be held during 2012 for the 2nd time in Gabon (23-27 July), in Guinea (19-22 November), in Ghana (12-16 November) and for the 1st time in Chad (1-3 August).