Human Subjects Approval

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Human Subjects Approval is done to protect the rights and welfare of the human subjects in a research project.

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All impact evaluations must be fully compliant with both local and international Institutional Review Boards (IRB).

Local IRB approvals vary by country; research local regulations when the impact evaluation is designed.


Where to seek IRB approval

International IRB approvals: The World Bank does not have an IRB. Typically, IRB approval is sought from partner academic / research organizations (e.g. universities, Innovation for Poverty Action [1]).

Who needs to be included in IRB approval?

All members of the research team who will manage surveys and work with personally identified data must complete training on conducting research with human subjects. The National Institute for Health (NIH) offers a free course on "Protecting Human Research Participants". [2] All surveys require informed consent from every respondent.

Additional Resources

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MIT's Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES) offers examples of IRB applications, informed consent, and authorization forms: