Towards People-Centered Epidemic Preparedness and Response: From Knowledge to Action
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A strategic roadmap to address knowledge, infrastructure and funding gaps and accelerate capacity development and innovation A key aspect of saving lives during a disruptive infectious disease epidemic is the effective generation and use of contextual information and knowledge that can guide adaptive planning, decision-making and intervention. This report articulates how global health funders, as well as multilateral agencies, governments, public health institutes and universities, can improve global, regional and national level epidemic preparedness and response systems through a concerted strategy of investment in social science capacity, infrastructure, tools and durable systems. Social science capacity has made some advance from where it was just a few years ago, when efforts were more ad hoc and fragmented; however, new projects are either short-term investments with limited reach or small initial investments, and they are not sufficiently integrated with existing epidemic preparedness and response systems. These need to be urgently leveraged and expanded upon, and supported with a similar level of investment to allied disciplines such as epidemiology, disease modelling and virology. Through a broad consultation, analysis and reflection process, this report analyses the contemporary knowledge, infrastructure and funding gaps that hinder the full potential of social sciences in epidemic response and presents a roadmap for addressing them. * * * This report was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust & UK DFID Joint Initiative on Epidemic Preparedness, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on behalf of the Funders’ Forum on Social Science Research for Infectious Disease, which is part of the GloPID-R network. The Funders’ Forum was created in 2016 in response to the Ebola and Zika epidemics and includes the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the European Commission, the Department for International Development (DFID UK), the South Africa Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust.