Global systems to prepare for and respond to pandemics and other public health emergencies are at a tipping point. The catastrophic toll of COVID-19 has exposed considerable gaps in the global architecture for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR). And projections suggest that COVID-19 is not a once-in-a-century crisis; infectious disease threats will continue to escalate. Centering strengthened global capacity must be a near-term priority.
Better pandemic preparedness can save lives and money, but mobilizing collective action around such global public goods is complicated. A well-functioning system is marked by an absence of emergencies—making adequate and sustainable investments more difficult to justify, especially in resource-constrained settings. And the number of entities involved in the convoluted web of global health further complicates effective coordination for activities like expanding manufacturing capacity and allocating medicines.
The wide-reaching health and economic consequences of COVID-19 prompted surges of commitment and investments around the world to rapidly develop and deploy medical countermeasures (think: vaccines, diagnostic tests, and PPE) as well as strengthen financing, coordination, and governance for PPR. COVID’s sustained impacts have also forced global decisionmakers to take strategic policy action, building on existing efforts, to reimagine global systems in the context of increasingly vulnerable global health security.
Pandemic Proof, a new podcast from the Center for Global Development, will confront the evidence of weaknesses in the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response and explore ways to bolster our capacity to protect our world against future pandemic risks. You can listen to the trailer at the top of this page.
Join CGD's global health experts Amanda Glassman and Javier Guzman each month as they interview experts from around the world, take stock of the global health landscape, and discuss ways to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, and equity in the face of future pandemic threats. Each episode will dive into a new dimension of pandemic preparedness and response—from financing to disease surveillance to vaccine supply chains—to unpack the calls to action surrounding the COVID-19 crisis and explore actionable ways to strengthen global capacity going forward.
Pandemic Proof will be available on the CGD Podcast feed, so make sure you’re subscribed to The CGD Podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, or Stitcher. Tune in next Thursday to listen to the first episode!
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.