Integrated people-centered disease surveillance – empowering field health services and communities

Public health

Our proven people-centered approach generates comprehensive, high-quality, sustainable, integrated, real-time information about human, animal and plant diseases, empowering communities and underpinning global health security.

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Lead Organization


Bruce, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Ausvet seek to secure the funding to provision real-time disease surveillance to ultimately improve health outcomes across species worldwide. Currently most systems are failing to provision quality information in a timely way to allow (often limited) resources to be deployed effectively to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats. Unique in combining epidemiology, health information technology and social sciences Ausvet have a proven record of developing and delivering innovative health information systems that meet all stakeholder needs. Recognising that people are the most complex part of any system we understand they must be developed based on an in-depth understanding of users’ diverse needs and motivations. With a proven solution, already implemented and successfully scaled in Indonesia (iSIKHNAS) with game-changing results, benefiting millions of Indonesian rural poor. We can provision a solution which experience tells us, could leverage funding to facilitate sustainable reporting information reporting systems on a global scale.

Problem Statement

People don’t have the information they need. Disease surveillance systems are failing to provide adequate information to support decisions, actions and policies at all levels, from local to global. This failure is a major constraint to efforts to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats in humans, livestock and crops. The root cause is a failure to understand the people who generate surveillance data in the field, to empathize with them, or to build systems that provide meaningful benefit to them. Current surveillance systems are instead designed by top-level decisions makers to meet their own specific needs (often national summaries or international reporting obligations). Information flows are one-way, and the information collected provides little or no value to those who generate it. Many Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) surveillance systems are paper-based, and even if electronic, use a paper-based mindset. A focus on priority diseases means that the systems provide little benefit for the majority of patients or farmers, for whom endemic diseases cause major daily suffering and losses. The result is user disengagement resulting in a high level of under-reporting and slow access to low quality information that is not able to be used to address the major disease challenges facing LMICs. A chronic lack of good information for decision making means many LMICs decision makers (at all levels) have little experience and few skills in using information to support good decisions, even when it does become available.

Solution Overview

We propose to establish a powerful, comprehensive and sustainable disease surveillance system across multiple countries in Africa. The system will be developed across human, animal and plant health sectors; capable of providing accurate, real-time, highly granular surveillance information with near complete coverage; used daily because it meets local needs and empowers people working to improve the health of people, plants and animals; providing a data-rich environment for decision-making, policy development, research and program evaluation. The solution has two core components: a comprehensive philosophy built on sound sociological foundations and ICT platform. The solution will result in stakeholders participating in surveillance out of self-interest, not obligation or altruism, because of the benefits the system provides: easier communication, simpler routine tasks, time saved, access to useful intelligence, diagnostic or treatment assistance tools, ability to serve their communities better or simply recognition that their work is useful and valued. The ICT component uses fit-for-purpose tools for real-time communication with field users and allows efficient integration of data from multiple sources. Secure Cloud computing and automated analysis deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. The flexible design allows the system to respond rapidly and affordably to the constantly evolving information needs of stakeholders and to generate benefit for all users. Over the 5-year project, comprehensive people-centered surveillance will be implemented in the target countries (accompanied by a fundamental cultural change in evidence-based decision-making) and a foundation will be established to continue sustainable implementation in many more.

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