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Prioritizing Actions for Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness

May 18, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

The Prioritizing Actions for Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness Virtual Symposium will be held 18 May 2023.

This is the second of two sessions. The purpose of this symposium is to convene global health planning stakeholders, including those in government and academia, and across health- and non-health sectors, to strengthen the capacity for evidence-based prioritization of global health capabilities.

Objectives of this meeting are the following:

  • Review assessment tools and how, independently and together, they relate to national action planning.
  • Gain insight into how countries and organizations currently select priorities in funding for epidemic prevention, detection, and response.
  • Assess evidence for effective prioritization approaches to building disease surveillance and risk communication capabilities.
  • Identify governance structures that can support robust and reliable systems for global health investments.


Health Security Action Areas: Issues and Opportunities
The goals of these discussions are to review success and failures, use of assessment tools, identify outstanding gaps and determine critical areas for action to sustainably improve capabilities in three areas.

Situational Awareness in the Context of Health and Diseases
The goal of this discussion is to re-set expectations at a higher-level of what can be done to keep both public health and the general public aware of changes in disease risks as early as possible by combining many current surveillance systems with new sources of disease data to form near real time awareness of constantly changing disease risks.

Topics covered in this discussion include:

  • Current tools for disease surveillance and the international tools used to evaluate the effectiveness of these systems
  • Routine methods and genetic surveillance for assessing situational awareness
  • Recent innovations in detection in detection of novel diseases and use of closer-to-real-time monitoring of critical changes in endemic disease
  • Recent experience including new types of disease surveillance and combinations of traditional and new methods to improve situational awareness
  • Integration of surveillance tools to realize near-real-time situational awareness

Moderator: Larry Brilliant, Pandefense Advisory

Mark Smolinski, Ending Pandemics

Patipat Keng Susumpow, Opendream Co

Channe Suy, CoFounder, Kawsang

Building Trust, Transparency, and Risk Communication Capabilities
The goal of this discussion is to review existing guidance and frameworks for risk communication, highlighting approaches that are particularly effective for communicating risk about epidemics and describing approaches that have been demonstrated to be less effective or ineffective in communicating risks.

Moderator: Richard Garfield, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Katelyn Jetelina, Your Local Epidemiologist
Rania Elessawi, UNICEF
Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University

Strengthening Global Health Security through Strong Country-Level Infrastructure for Effective Governance, Financing, and Accountability
A country’s performance during an infectious disease outbreak is only as strong as its ability to leverage multisectoral partnerships; coordinate at national, subnational and community levels; and continuously develop and strengthen health and public health system capacity to prevent and respond to outbreaks.

The goal of this discussion is to examine how improving global health security begins at the country-level and how countries can strengthen their public health architecture for epidemic preparedness and response through effective mechanisms for governance, financing, and accountability. This group will focus on the following questions:

  • How might countries /organizations ensure effective multisectoral governance at country-level?
  • How might countries /organizations foster accountability among partners and stakeholders that drives continuous quality improvement and well-prioritized investments?

Julie Wahl, Resolve to Save Lives
Gisela Scaglia, Former Member of Parliament Argentina

Aminu Magashi Garba, Africa Budget Network
Immaculate Nabukenya, Makerere University
Abrham Ejigu – Senior Project Manager, Resolve to Save Lives, Ethiopia

Cross-Cutting Action Areas: Issues and Opportunities
The goals of these discussions are to review success and failures, use of assessment tools, identify outstanding gaps and determine critical areas for action to sustainably improve capabilities in three overarching areas

Global Health Security Capacity and Functionality Assessment
Timely access to quality, actionable data underpins effective prioritization of investments to address GHS capacity and functionality gaps. The goal of this session is to discuss and identify critical needs, challenges, gaps, and
opportunities to improve GHS capacity and functionality assessment tools, their use, and the use of the data they generate to inform decision making on strengthening and maintaining critical capabilities needed to prevent, detect, and respond to any future epidemics. Participants will discuss the following issues:

  • Identify challenges in the use of existing tools (including accessibility) and opportunities to improve them.
  • Identify opportunities to improve interoperability, interconnectedness, and integration of assessment tools and data.
  • Identify opportunities to improve linkages between capacity/capability guidance and assessment tools.
  • Participants will have a worksheet to contribute to prior to and following the discussion.
  • Participants will use Jamboard to add suggested actions for addressing identified gaps.

Aamer Ikram, National Institutes of Health Pakistan
Jessica Petrillo, U.S. Agency for International Development

Anne Liu, Gates Ventures
Dr. Magda Robalo Correia e Silva, Institute for Global Health and Development
Charles Bebay, ECTAD Regional Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa,
Food and Agriculture Organization

Countries’ and Organizations’ Experiences in Preparedness and Response Planning
The goal of this discussion is to identify lessons and best practices for preparedness and response at the national level, and identify actions on policy and practice for improving preparedness and planning for the next pandemic by learning from what went well and what went less well in national contexts.

Examples exist of countries on good planning practices to address the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. These countries have observed strong and weak points in the national system through systematic monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools (e.g., IHR, Joint External Evaluation, Universal Health and Preparedness Review). Before engaging in discussion about these topics, participants will hear from two examples of countries from different perspectives. This discussion will focus on the following questions:

  • What are the actual practices in a term of multisectoral approach that the country is adopting as a result of learning in this symposium from the M&E tool?
  • What’s the nature of the reinforcement process of preparedness and response planning at the national level?

Participants will be asked to suggest approaches and actions to guide each country’s decision to implement and strengthen the use of their preparation and response plans with academia, donors, and private partners.

Soawapak Hinjoy, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Thailand
Erwin Humberto Calgua Guerra, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
Arminder Kaur Deol, Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

Jeffery Cutter, Ministry of Health Singapore
Ali Ardalan, Health Systems in Emergencies Lab, World Health Organization
Regional Officer for the Eastern Mediterranean

Please visit the National Academies’ Prioritizing Actions for Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness Virtual Symposium page for more information and to register for virtual attendance.


May 18, 2023
8:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
Event Categories:


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
View Organizer Website