Data sharing in public health emergencies
Sharing data helps researchers to build on existing knowledge and make discoveries that can improve health.
This includes the need to share data to anticipate and prepare for health emergencies, and to develop vaccines and experimental treatments.
On this page
Research is an essential part of being ready for and responding to public health emergencies. It’s critical that any new knowledge is shared in a timely manner in a way that’s equitable, ethical and transparent.
What we’re doing
We’re a member of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) network and lead its data sharing working group.
The working group is developing a strategy for data and knowledge sharing in public health emergencies. It will identify:
- defining principles and norms
- the skills, capacity and tools needed to develop systems for data sharing
- incentives that could encourage data sharing
- ethical, legal and governance issues.
In February 2016, we joined a growing list of global health bodies to call for all research data gathered during the Zika virus outbreak, and future public health emergencies, to be made available as rapidly and openly as possible. Read the statement.
Our article for the World Health Organization looks at the progress that’s been made since the statement, and at the key challenges posed by data sharing in public health emergencies.
Sharing data helps researchers to access and build on new information and knowledge.
Science policy affects a broad range of issues, ranging from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus which has been linked with severe birth defects in babies.