Centre for Global Health Policy

Data Sharing

Stefan Elbe
Gemma Buckland-Merrett

Genetic sequence data about pathogens is becoming increasingly available during global health emergencies and now plays a central role in their management – contributing to risk assessments, molecular epidemiology and the development of new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics.

Yet there are also sensitivities surrounding such genetic sequence data that can hamper their rapid international sharing between countries, scientists and industry amidst the pressures of acute outbreaks – including issues of global equity, justice, power, commerce, and national security.

CGHP researchers have explored those sensitivities, as well as the international diplomatic and political contestations they give rise to during recent global health emergencies. They have also carried out in-depth studies of prominent efforts to facilitate increased sharing of such data – including GISAID which has rapidly emerged as a leading mechanism for the rapid international sharing of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 sequence data.

Elbe, Stefan. "Bioinformational diplomacy: Global health emergencies, data sharing and sequential life." European Journal of International Relations (2021): 13540661211008204.

Elbe, Stefan, and Gemma Bucklandā€Merrett. "Data, disease and diplomacy: GISAID's innovative contribution to global health." Global challenges 1.1 (2017): 33-46.

WorkshopGlobal Biomedical Informatics: Innovation, Governance, Societal Engagement.