Modelling for policy: The five principles of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Modelling Consortium

Submitted by gpeng on Sat, 06/27/2020 - 14:01
Matthew R. Behrend,1,2,* María-Gloria Basáñez,3 Jonathan I. D. Hamley,3 Travis C. Porco,4 Wilma A. Stolk,5 Martin Walker,6,7 Sake J. de Vlas,5 and for the NTD Modelling Consortium
doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008033
Publication journal
PLoS Negl Trop Disv.14(4); 2020 AprPMC7144973

The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) thrive mainly among the poorest populations of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set ambitious targets for eliminating much of the burden (and the transmission when possible) of these diseases by 2020 [], with new targets for 2030 being currently set []. Substantial international investment has been made with the London Declaration (2012) on NTDs to prevent the morbidity and premature mortality associated with these diseases through global programmes for their control and elimination.

The NTD Modelling Consortium [] is an international effort to improve the health of the poorest populations in the world through the development and application of mathematical (including statistical and geographical) models for NTD transmission and control.

Although policy and intervention planning for disease control efforts have been supported by mathematical models [], our general experience is that modelling-based evidence still remains less readily accepted by decision-making bodies than expert opinion or evidence from empirical research studies. Toward increasing modelling impact, we (1) conducted a review of the literature on (health-related) modelling principles and standards, (2) developed recommendations for areas of communication in policy-driven modelling to guide NTD programmes, and (3) presented this to the wider NTD Modelling Consortium.

Principles were formed as a guide for areas to communicate the quality and relevance of modelling to stakeholders. It is not guidance for communicating models to other modellers or how to conduct modelling. In adhering to a practise of these principles, our hope is that modelling will be of greater use to policy and decision makers in the field of NTD control, and possibly beyond that.

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