Establishing a Community of Practice (CoP) for Infectious Diseases Data

You are here

26 Jan 2021
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The ongoing pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need for harmonised social and technical infrastructure and a common understanding of a global infectious disease data management and analytics platform. Such a platform would help decision-makers identify the information the minimum near-real-time information needed during an infectious disease emergency to implement a rapid and coordinated response that complies with the international health and medical regulations. We are proposing a Community of Practice (CoP) with the following set of focus areas for discussion and action.

  • a list of current data holdings and resources held and utilised by infectious diseases data researchers, practitioners, collaborators, networks and decision-makers.

  • Identify existing data definitions, standards and dictionaries from the resources that are currently informing the pandemic response

  • Identify data elements required to inform response and identify gaps in the data collection process. 

  • Map the data elements that inform response to a decision making tree. This decision should contain provenance, licensing and contextual metadata to identify who the data owners are, where the data is being generated, with whom the data will be shared, how the data will help inform response, etc. 

  • Develop a blueprint for a global infectious diseases data management and analytics platform 

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative meeting notes:


1. Introduction, overview, and presentation of the RDA Community of Practice (CoP) (10 min) - Mark Leggott

2. Recap - RDA COVID-19 WG Recommendations and Guidelines (10 min) - Natalie Harrower

3. Audience discussion (5 mins)

4. Lightning talks: (20 min)

  • Case study 1 (10 min) - Natalie Meyers

  • Case study 2 (10 mins) - Alexander Bernier​​​​​​

5. Audience discussion (5 mins)

4. Discussion of the case statement (15 min) - Priyanka Pillai

  • What would be key aims to achieve with this CoP?

  • How does this CoP relate to existing initiatives?

4. What are your expectations from a CoP? How can a global CoP be adapted to a local context? (group discussion) possible breakout rooms (15 min)

5. Where to next with the CoP? - Engaging with key stakeholders and the RDA community (10 mins)

6. Meeting close

Target Audience: 

We are targeting RDA members, researchers, policymakers interested in the area of infectious diseases from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Global South. We will be engaging with RDA WGs and IGs to expand our membership. 

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Priyanka Pillai, Mark Leggott and Natalie Harrower are active members of RDA and are co-chairs of the RDA COVID-19 Working Group. The RDA COVID-19 Working group addressed the development of detailed guidelines to aggregate different data sources in any common data hub or platform. The guidelines aimed at developing a system for data sharing in public health emergencies that supports scientific research and policymaking, including an overarching framework, common tools and processes, and principles which can be embedded in research practice. The guidelines to be developed will address general aspects related to the principles the data should adhere to (FAIR and other principles). Priyanka Pillai undertook an extensive literature review and scoping exercise in 2018 and found that there is global support for making public health data available under F.A.I.R. (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Principles to support knowledge integration, innovation and discovery. Priyanka's opinion piece has recently been published in Patterns, a Cell Press journal

Short Group Status: 

CoP yet to be endorsed

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Meeting presenters are yet to be finalised. However the CoP co-chairs will seek presenters from different regions/sectors to give lightning talks.