The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is stimulating collaboration among the world’s polio modeling groups to more efficiently address priority issues of the polio eradication campaign. Each group is contributing its specific expertise and modeling approaches to the common process that includes sharing of datasets, cross-model comparisons of methodology and outputs and a common translation of model results into policy making. Currently, multiple groups have joined this working group including Global Good/Intellectual Ventures, Imperial College London, the US CDC, and Kid Risk. Computational modeling for polio eradication has to be flexible according to the most urgent priorities set by the SAGE group and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative such as the use of oral or inactivated polio vaccine and the selection between various vaccine and administration products.
Computational modeling and analysis in support of global polio eradication is dependent on detailed polio surveillance and laboratory data but access to these data is often restricted. This is a universal challenge to public health research in general and more specifically for data intensive modeling. The Data Access activities of the Polio Modeling and Data Access working group are mostly focused on describing barriers to data sharing in public health. Dr. Claudia Emerson at the Sandra-Rotman Center for Global Health at the University of Toronto is exploring ethical principles for global health data sharing. Dr. Wilbert van Panhuis at the University of Pittsburgh is describing a comprehensive list of barriers to data sharing in public health that an be grouped in six major categories.