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Maximising the use of COVID-19 models in policy making: CMCC

Why?

As the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, a growing number of countries are making use of information derived from mathematical and computational simulation models in policy and public communication. Models can support decision-makers in countries in planning the COVID-19 response, from looking at how different mitigation policies and scenarios will impact the number of cases and fatalities, to supporting planning for intensive care units or hospital beds. 

Two months after the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, there were already 31 models prediction models for diagnosis and prognosis published in the literature, and there is no doubt that this number has already increased. Each model has different objectives and purposes, employs different methods, data and key assumptions.

This landscape of models can be confusing to navigate, especially as there is currently no guidance supporting policy-makers on to engage with models based on their decision needs.

In addition, models may not sufficiently reflect the evidence needs for decision-makers, especially as such needs may be different from countries to countries, and between different country groups (i.e. high income versus low and middle income countries).

 

The CMCC

All global health partners have been confronted with increased requests from countries for guidance on the selection and interpretation of the model results. As a result, a group of partners are proposing the creation of the COVID-19 Multi-Model Comparison Collaboration (CMCC). 

The aim of the CMCC is to enhance the informed use of models in policy making. We intend to do so by providing end users (with a focus on LMICs) with an accessible overview of aims, capabilities and limits of the existing COVID-19 models, as well as how their projections differ and what the models’ key assumptions and drivers are.

In other words, this exercise is to help the users better to interpret the estimates from these tools for planning and strategic decisions. In addition to the model comparison exercise, the CMCC will also work closely with policy-makers planning their COVID-19 response in countries to capture their intention and experience with using models, identify relevant decision and evidence needs, as well as understanding their perspectives on how to effectively report and communicate models to maximise impact.

For more information, please see our CMCC concept note here or click on the dedicated “concept note” square at the top of this page

 

Who are we?

The CMCC is convened by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department for International Development (UK), the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the international Support Decision Initiative (iDSI), the Norway Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), the Royal Thai Government, USAID, the World Bank and the World Health Organization (in alphabetical order). Our work is hosted by the DECIDE platform.

A full list of members in our working groups can be found here.