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GloPID-R Secretariat

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GloPID-R SEC 2 (GloPID-R Secretariat)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-06-30

According to the agreement taking effect on the 1st of January 2020, the GloPID-R Secretariat’s aims for 2020-2022 are:
1. Support to the chair and co-chairs for smooth and efficient implementation of operational activities
2. Implementing, maintaining, and evaluating an effective external communication programme
3. Technical and operational support to develop and operationalise GloPID-R's strategy:
The secretariat has been significantly strengthened with the newly created post of a Scientific and Advocacy Director, filled in February 2021, technical and scientific staff recruited at Oxford University, and further communication resources for Mérieux Foundation.
Several of the planned projects, have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become the main focus since early 2020. GloPID-R has been instrumental to produce the R&D Roadmap, collaborating with the WHO Blueprint team and co-hosting the “Global Research and Innovation Forum” in February 2020.
The COVID-19 crisis has also led to the revision of GloPID-R’s mid-term strategy with the help of a Scientific Advisory Group. In collaboration with the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, applying their scenario planning methodology a report was produced, accompanied by the Co-Chairs recommendations. Three key elements are featuring prominently, a strong focus on LMICs, capacity strengthening, and the “One Health” approach to zoonotic diseases.
One of the main tools enabling GloPID-R to inform its members on potential research opportunities and gaps for COVID-19 research, is the Research Project Tracker, developed in collaboration with the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR). This database regularly updates data on COVID-19 funding across the GloPlD-R membership and beyond, coded according to the defined research priorities of the R&D Roadmap of the WHO Blueprint team. To date, the Tracker has collated information on close 11,000 COVID-19 research projects, worth more than $4.7 billion, from over 200 funders around the world. Living mapping reviews, published quarterly on the Wellcome Open Research platform, are offered to members and non-members. The Tracker has been viewed over 30 thousand times, informing funding decisions across funders globally. Its importance was highlighted early in the ‘R&D Preparedness Ecosystem: Preparedness for Health Emergencies Report to the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board’ and more recently in the WHO ‘Overall achievements report’, where the COVID-19 Project Tracker was acknowledged as “instrumental in reaching global funding decisions”. As the initial funding by UK-based organisations is runs out in August 2021, UKCDR with the help of GloPID-R have applied for a 12-month extension. If successful, this period will also be used to develop a new platform to include a range of infectious diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential. This GloPID-R-led project aims to provide a decision-making tool for funders globally to better prepare and respond to disease outbreaks in the future.
An LMICs Working Group (WG) has been established, open to any GloPID-R member, helping to identify research needs and gaps on COVID-19 across LMICs. This WG, as a collaboration between GloPID-R, UKCDR, and the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition, successfully organised a meeting on “Priorities for COVID-19 research response and preparedness in low-resource settings” on 29th and 30th of March 2021, the results of which were recently published in the Lancet.
GloPID-R has started to attract new members, in particular across the Global South, and to explore the possibility of developing regional GloPID-R hubs. A number of pilot schemes are under negotiations for Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America, to ascertain if this structure would make the management of the alliance more effective.
On the coordination of clinical trials, GloPID-R has long worked on this topic through its Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Working Group, but is now reviewing its activities in this domain. These changes will likely be developed in the context of the recently agreed G7 Clinical Trials Charter. This document acknowledges GloPID-R’s global role in coordinating funding for clinical research and improved sharing of data and results, and negotiations are ongoing to cocreate an implementation plan.
These recent developments have resulted in the need of strengthening the governance framework of GloPID-R to make GloPID-R fit for future challenges of pandemic preparedness and response. A proposal for a revised governance structure is being prepared, soon to be circulated among the Co-Chairs and members for final decision.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, GloPID-R has produced a number of significant outputs:
• GloPID-R Response Strategy Coordination meetings, identifying research gaps and research priorities
• Launch of the GloPID-R – UKCDR live Research Project Tracker, tracking investments in COVID-19 research against the WHO R&D Blueprint categories to assist in global research response decision making
• Pandemic Tracker: Development of a concept of developing a pandemic Tracker, capturing information across a wider range of infectious diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential
• Participation in the virtual Global Research and Innovation Fora of the WHO R&D Blueprint
• GloPID-R Research Synergies meetings on a range of themes such as of Vaccines, Therapeutics, Understanding Transmission and Social Sciences
• Launch of COVID CIRCLE in partnership between UKCDR and GloPID-R, in particular to harness continual mapping and analysis of global COVID-19 funding through the COVID-19 Research Project Tracker
• Long COVID Joint Research Forum: organisation of a 2-day Forum with our partner ISARIC
• GloPID-R members meeting on the new variant of SARS-CoV-2
• Establishment of a COVID-19 Research in LMICs Working Group to identify research gaps and needs across LMICs
• LMICS WG-led organisation of a virtual meeting on ‘Priorities for COVID-19 research response and preparedness in low-resource settings’, in collaboration with UKCDR and the COVID-19 Clinical research Coalition
• Social Sciences Working Group: Significant contributions to the development of the United Nations Research Roadmap for COVID-19 recovery
• Clinical Trials Network Group: New strategy being developed in the context of GloPID-R's possible role in the recently agreed G7 Clinical Trials Charter.
• Extension of the membership, in particular across the Global South: Four new members have been recruited with many more in the process of applying
• Development of a new strategy, in collaboration with the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, resulting in a Report of GloPID-R's Scientific Advisory Group and the Co-Chairs recommendations
• One Health: As one of the priorities in the SAG Report, GloPID-R has approached the OIE (the World Organisation for Animal Health) and STAR IDAZ (the International Research Consortium on animal health) to explore the possibility of a joint Working Group on operationalising the One Heath Approach
• Regional hubs and GloPID-R offices: In accordance with the recommendations in the SAG report and the Co-Chairs, GloPID-R has begun to explore the possibility of implementing such a devolved structure
• Governance: Renewed efforts are underway to develop a proposal for an improved governance framework
• New and improved communication strategy developed and implemented
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