Ethics & IPA IRB

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In this image:IPA enumerator Aaron (right) teaches a faith leader how to use a smartphone for the project Becoming One in Kamwenge, Uganda. © 2018 Aude Guerrucci
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An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an administrative committee designated to provide ethical and regulatory oversight of research that involves human subjects.

IRBs exist to protect the rights, safety, and welfare of human subjects involved in research projects, consistent with ethical principles and federal, state, and local regulations. For human subject research conducted internationally, additional local regulations and international standards apply.

Human subjects research at IPA is guided by the ethical principles set forth in the Belmont Report (Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research). The minimum standards are set by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations at 45 CFR part 46 and the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations at 21 CFR part 50 and 21 CFR part 56.

In 2007, IPA established an IRB that would provide ethical oversight to international studies that were primarily randomized trials with vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries where IPA operates. The IRB is hosted by IPA and its administrative functions are handled by IPA staff, but it is independent of IPA staff, management, and researchers. The membership of the IPA IRB is diverse in affiliations and is composed of members who are external to IPA. The IRB convenes on a monthly basis. For additional information on meeting dates, please see IPA IRB Meeting Dates.

IRB approval is a fundamental part of IPA’s research quality protocols. To submit a study protocol for review, download the relevant IRB Form and submit via the appropriate link in the right sidebar. IPA requires that all IPA-implemented projects be reviewed by a U.S. or a similar IRB institution, as well as a nationally recognized (or equal) IRB in the country where research is taking place (if such an IRB exists) before the start of any human subject research activities. This process is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator. The IPA IRB is available to review studies conducted, managed, or funded by IPA in any of the following situations:

  • where another institution is not providing a review.
  • where another institution chooses to defer to the IPA IRB as a primary approver. The institution will send IPA IRB an IRB Authorization Agreement on their institutional letterhead.
  • where the PI’s university, donor, or partner organization requires it. In this instance, IPA IRB will review the study as a secondary approver pending the primary institution’s approval.

Studies that receive federal funding must be reviewed by an IRB registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). Institutions engaged in research that is federally funded must file and maintain a Federalwide Assurance (FWA) with OHRP, identifying in the FWA the IRBs on which it is reliant. In addition, the Institution must have in place a current IRB Authorization Agreement with the named IRB.

If any member of the public wishes to raise a concern about the safety of human subjects participating in IPA IRB-approved activities or to request submission and approval documentation related to an IPA IRB-approved study, they may contact

IRB Forms

IRB Resources

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    IRB Meeting Dates

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    Deadline for submission of materials for full board review 
    (applies for non-minimal risk studies/submissions)
    IPA IRB Meeting Dates
    3 PM - 4 PM EST)
    Friday, January 5, 2024, COB Thursday, January 25, 2024
    Friday, February 9, 2024, COB Thursday, February 29, 2024
    Friday, March 8, 2024, COB Thursday, March 28, 2024
    Friday, April 5, 2024, COB Thursday, April 25, 2024
    Friday, May 10, 2024, COB Thursday, May 30, 2024
    Friday, June 7, 2024, COB Thursday, June 27, 2024
    Friday, July 5, 2024, COB Thursday, July 25, 2024
    Friday, August 9, 2024, COB Thursday, August 29, 2024
    Friday, September 6, 2024, COB Thursday, September 26, 2024
    Friday, October 11, 2024, COB Thursday, October 31, 2024
    Friday, November 1, 2024, COB Thursday, November 21, 2024
    Friday, November 29, 2024, COB Thursday, December 19, 2024


    IRB Members

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    Paul Newton, JD, CIP
    IPA IRB Chair & Prisoner Representative

    Paul Newton is an Oregon attorney with over 25 years of experience in law and litigation, investigation, trials and appeals, regulatory affairs, ethics and compliance, bioethics, institutional review board oversight (IRB), animal research care and protection (IACUC), intellectual property, and visas.  He first received his professional IRB certificate (CIP) in 2006.  He currently serves as the IRB Chair for IPA, and he is also the HRPP Director and IRB Chair at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

    Prior to being involved in IRB work, Paul spent fifteen years as a criminal defense lawyer. Since beginning work in the IRB field in 1996, he has served on numerous IRB ethics committees—Oregon Health Division IRB, Oregon Health Sciences University IRB, Legacy Health IRB, Western IRB, Portland State University IRB, Yale IRB, Hummingbird IRB, and IPA IRB.  He has also served as a bioethics advisor to a large pharmaceutical company, served as a clinical ethics consultant for Legacy Health, served on a genetics privacy committee, and conducted countless training sessions for lawyers, investigators, ethicists, IRB members, college students, researchers, and international Fellows.

    Michael F. Craft, MA, Evaluation Officer at United Nations Secretariat

    Michael F. Craft currently serves as an Evaluation Officer at the Office of Internal Oversight Services where he performs assessment of entities within the United Nations Secretariat. This has included evaluating the advocacy work of the UN related to children and armed conflict as well as conflict-related sexual violence. Prior to his current position, he carried out programmatic and thematic evaluations at the Independent Evaluation Office of the UN Development Programme. He has extensive experience in designing research systems of evaluation functions in the UN system. Mr. Craft has also worked as a consultant for the UN Institute of Training and Research Multilateral Diplomacy Programme and supported local conflict transformation initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Craft holds a dual Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and Sciences Po (Paris).

    Niall Keleher, MA, PhD

    Niall's research experience is in labor economics, social networks, field experiments, causal inference, and machine learning. Niall has spent over 15 years in research and data science across software development, non-profit, and academic institutions. Niall has worked across Niall worked as Senior Director of Research Methods and Knowledge Management at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), where he directed IPA’s corps of over 500 research staff and oversaw the development of resources for high-quality research and training. He has worked to design and carry out more than a dozen research projects in rural finance, agriculture, transportation, and business training. He has extensive experience conducting research in rural and urban Malawi, where he served as Country Director for IPA from 2009 to 2012. Niall holds a PhD in Information Management and Systems from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master's in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.

    Boyla Mainsah, PhD, Research Scientist at Duke University

    Boyla Mainsah is currently a Research Scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, where she conducts extensive research on signal processing and machine learning with brain-computer interfaces (BCI). Additionally, her MSc in biomedical engineering has influenced her research interests in cochlear implants, heart sound analysis, implanted heart pumps, and non-invasive acoustic diagnostics. Boyla is a peer reviewer for a number of engineering journals and is a review panelist for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s summer research program.  

    Kristianna Post, MSc, Program Manager at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    Kristianna Post (Kristi) is currently a program manager at the Global Initiative for Neuropsychiatric Genetics Education in Research (GINGER), where she supports both curriculum development and the execution of various trainings. Before joining GINGER, Kristi worked for many years at Innovations for Poverty Action, first facilitating the implementation of randomized controlled trials in Kenya and later supporting research staff from the United States. In the context of her later work at IPA, she managed IPA’s Research Review Committee (RRC), Global Staff Trainings (GSTs), and Institutional Review Board (IRB). As a member of IPA IRB, Kristi brings her in-depth knowledge of the practicalities, constraints, and opportunities of IPA’s research portfolio.

    Yandisa Sikweyiya, PhD, Associate Professor at University of the Witwatersrand (Alternate Board Member)

    Yandisa Sikweyiya is a Specialist Scientist at the Gender and Health Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council and provides teaching, post-graduate supervision, and research support as an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand. Yandisa has served on various research ethics committees in South Africa including the University of Pretoria’s Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee, the South African Medical Research Council’s Human Research Ethics Committee, and the DMTS Health Research Ethics Committee. He has also served as a member of the National Health Research Ethics Council of South Africa. His research interests include research ethics, gender-based violence, men and masculinities, and social aspects of HIV. He holds a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Master’s degree in Public Health from Umeå University, Sweden, and a post-graduate certificate in research ethics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He obtained his junior degree in Health Promotion from the University of Transkei.

    Alexandra Krstic, Research Ethics Analyst for IPA IRB

    Alexandra Krstic is the primary IRB administrator for IPA IRB. She has performed preliminary submission reviews for the IRB since 2021, and since 2023 has reviewed/overseen review of all minimal risk submissions to the IRB. She became an alternate member of the IRB in 2023 and was made a full member in 2024. She has previous experience in biomedical and public health research at UC San Diego and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and previously served as a paralegal intern with the nonprofit Legal Services NYC. She holds a BA in Biology from Williams College and is completing an MA in Bioethics at NYU.

    Sarah Kabay, PhD, Education Program Director at IPA (Alternate Member)

    Sarah is the Director of IPA's Education sector program. She holds a PhD in International Development Education from New York University. Before beginning her doctoral program, she worked with IPA for five years in Uganda, where she managed the implementation and evaluation of a primary school savings program and worked in a variety of roles from 2008-2013. Her research focuses on early childhood and basic education. As an education researcher, she uses mixed methods and interdisciplinary research approaches and is particularly interested in the integration of qualitative research into randomized evaluations. Across different projects, she serves as an internal PI, provides technical support to IPA's Policy and Right-Fit Evidence teams, and directs Education Sector initiatives.

    Lindsey Shaughnessy, Director of Global Research and Data Support at IPA (Alternate Member)

    Lindsey Shaughnessy leads IPA's Global Research and Data Support team. The team builds protocols, resources, software, and training programs related to research design, research methods, data collection, data quality assurance, data analysis, and data science. Lindsey joined IPA in 2010 as a Research Associate working on a rainfall insurance study in northern Ghana. Since then she has led a series of global initiatives, including digitizing primary data collection, building organizational information systems and data security protocols, training research staff, and overseeing IPA's Institutional Review Board. She holds a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Mandarin Chinese, from Carleton College.

    David Torres León (Alternate Member)

    Bio coming soon.

    Daniela Carrillo (Alternate Member)

    Bio coming soon.

    IRB Fee Schedule

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    Please download the IRB fee schedule here.

    IRB Board Correspondence

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    Please download this document here.

    IRB Frequently Asked Questions

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    Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page here.

    U.S. HHS Human Subjects Regulation Decisions