The Research Fairness Initiative is a reporting initiative. It provides a template for good quality reporting on conditions that countries, research organisations, business and research funders can use to describe what measures they have in place and plan to put in place in future to optimize fair partnerships – i.e. measures that encourage the creation and maintenance of trusting, lasting, transparent and effective partnerships in research and innovation.
We prioritize global health, and, in particular, the position of low- and middle-income countries – but the RFI applies in many other settings as well. In fact, given the absolute absence of frameworks and benchmarks for quality and fair partnerships in research and innovation, the RFI will be useful in any situation – even if only as a means to reduce conflict and contract negotiation times!
In the absence of any agreement on frameworks or benchmarks for ‘fairness in research collaboration,’ it is impossible to define criteria, cut-off points or targets that would have to be met to ‘be compliant’.
Instead, by providing a reporting system, the RFI encourages all stakeholders in research and innovation for health to begin reporting what is actually done within their organisation to promote fair partnerships and what improvements are being planned going forward.