New Data Access Committee begins work on Ebola

The Ebola Data Platform, a pioneering collaboration in Ebola and emerging infections, has today appointed nine members for its first Data Access Committee (DAC), overseen and chaired by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, hosted at WHO.

Ebola Virus Particles (colourised SEM). Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
Ebola Virus Particles (colourised SEM). Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

The first DAC formed at IDDO to govern data from emerging infections, its inaugural membership includes experts in ethics, clinical and infectious disease research, public health response, data management, statistics and community engagement. Its members currently operate in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, the United States and the United Kingdom.  

The Ebola Data Platform (EDP) has been established to develop and promote research on Ebola in direct partnership with researchers and public health leaders in Ebola-affected countries. With the formation of the DAC, the Platform is enabling ways for the research community to share and access data held within the Ebola Data Platform repository. The Platform aggregates and standardises clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data, and provides the foundations for expanding to include other emerging infectious diseases in the future. 

The DAC is a key pillar of the Platform’s governance framework. It is an independent committee that will support the development, implementation and evolution of the Data Access Guidelines in line with the platform mission set out in the Charter

The Ebola Data Platform DAC will consider applications to access data on the Platform and decide if they are in line with the Data Access Guidelines, the Ethics Framework and the Conflict of Interest Policy. They will work with the Platform team to enable data access for research and analysis that will create a new understanding of Ebola and strengthen the research communities in Ebola-affected countries

The DAC will additionally agree the data to be released and provide regular input to the Steering Committee on the definition of research priorities, emerging issues in data access and any implications for platform strategy and policy.

The EDP has now entered a critical phase in its development – following the establishment of its governance structure, the EDP is now receiving data contributions to begin the process of data curation with a data management team based in Liberia and Sierra Leone, supported by IDDO.

Find out more about our work on Ebola.