The key role of the GloPID-R Scientific Secretariat
The Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) Report represents a major accomplishment for GloPID-R and an important tool for all funders of COVID-19 and related research as they make key decisions over the next two years.
The final report, COVID-19 Research Recommendations & Consideration for GloPID-R 2021-2023, was the outcome of a complex process drawing on the broad expertise of many different individuals. It required a tremendous investment of time and energy from the members of the SAG and the Oxford Saïd Business School scenario-planning team.
The third key player in this tour de force was the GloPID-R Scientific Secretariat, which greatly facilitated the work of the advisory group and played a substantial role in producing the final report. They attended the workshops and discussions of plausible scenarios of how COVID-19 might unfold in the next 10 years, an exercise designed to reveal and explore all the different aspects that funders may consider as they determine their future funding agendas for COVID-19 research.
We asked our Scientific Secretariat colleagues at Oxford to tell us about their experience.
“Scenarios can help provide a framework to deal with uncertainties and the pandemic has created lots of uncertainty,” said Gail Carson, Scientific Manager of the GloPID-R Secretariat, who first suggested the idea of using this approach and got in touch with Rafael Ramirez and his team. “The value of the scenario approach will become clearer over time, but we are aware of at least one meta organisation planning to adapt the GloPID R COVID-19 scenario set. We can already see aspects of each scenario playing out already,” she added. “However, to reiterate, the scenarios are not a crystal ball but a means of framing uncertainty and being clear on assumptions.”
Giuseppe Paparella, Policy Officer, highlighted the usefulness of this approach for decisionmakers. “We are confident that the GloPID-R COVID-19 scenario set will inform policymakers and funders’ agendas going forward,” he said. “Throughout the scenario- planning exercise it became increasingly clear that better international coordination and a more inclusive interdisciplinary approach stood out as necessary elements to tackle the effects of the current pandemic, as well as of future infectious disease outbreaks.”
Alice Norton, Researcher, highlighted the benefits of viewing global research funding through the lens of the Oxford Scenario Planning Approach. “The need for improved funding efficiency to ensure limited research funds during the pandemic result in impact was brought into full focus through the scenario approach,’’ she said. “We were able to combine the scenarios with funding data from the UKCDR & GloPID-R COVID-19 Project Tracker to inform the recommendations.” In a blog post published recently on Wellcome Open Research, Alice presents the Tracker and associated Living Mapping Review and their value for the global funder landscape.
The 3 teams involved in producing the SAG report
GloPID-R Scientific Advisory Group
- Chair: Marion Koopmans (GloPID-R Scientific Advisor)
- Lina Moses (GOARN Research – Tulane University)
- Moses Alobo (African Academy of Sciences)
- Nahoko Shindo (WHO)
- Nicole Lurie (CEPI)
- Steven Hoffman (CIHR)
- Xavier de Lamballerie (University of Marseilles)
- Yazdan Yazdanpanah (INSERM/ANRS, GloPID-R Vice-Chair).
Oxford Saïd Business School Scenario-Planning Team
- Rafael Ramirez
- Ciaran McGinley
- Shirin Elahi
GloPID-R Scientific Secretariat
- Gail Carson
- Alice Norton
- Giuseppe Paparella
- Romans Matulevics