Cross-sector Approaches to Infectious Disease Management

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To help users find relevant, quality resources from our Resource Library, we create curated lists on a variety of topics, bringing important practitioner- and academic-oriented work to the forefront.


Here we present resources on cross-sector approaches to infectious disease management — cases, articles, tools, and reports that tackle topics ranging from biomedical big data to preparedness strategies and homelessness to sanitation infrastructure, and more.


View all our curated lists here.

Scholarly Article

Cross-Sector Partnerships and Public Health: Challenges and Opportunities with the Private Sector, Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research, Lee Johnston and Diane Finegood, 2015

“Over the past few decades, cross-sector partnerships that include the private sector have become an increasingly accepted practice in public health, particularly in efforts to address infectious disease in low and middle income countries. Now they are becoming a popular tool in efforts to reduce and prevent obesity and the epidemic of non-communicable disease. Partnering with business presents a means of acquiring resources, as well as opportunities to influence the private sector toward more healthful practices. Collaboration is a core principle of public health practice; however public-private or non-profit-private partnerships present risks and challenges that warrant specific consideration. In this article we review the role of public health partnerships with the private sector, with a focus on efforts to address obesity and non-communicable disease in high-income settings. Challenges, risks and critical success factors relevant to partnering are identified, as are areas for improving public health practice to inform decision-making around partnership development.”

Scholarly Article

Big Data and Public-Private Partnerships in Healthcare and Research, Asian Bioethics Review, Angela Ballantyne and Cameron Stewart, 2019

“Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are established to specifically harness the potential of Big Data in healthcare and can include partners working across the data chain—producing health data, analysing data, using research results or creating value from data. This domain paper will illustrate the challenges that arise when partners from the public and private sector collaborate to share, analyse and use biomedical Big Data. We discuss three specific challenges for PPPs: working within the social licence, public antipathy to the commercialisation of public sector health data, and questions of ownership, both of the data and any resulting intellectual property or products. As a specific example we consider the case of the UK National Health Service (NHS) providing patient data to Google’s DeepMind AI program to develop a diagnostic app for kidney disease. This article is an application of the framework presented in this issue of ABR (Xafis et al. 2019). Please refer to that article for more information on how this framework is to be used, including a full explanation of the key values involved and the balancing approach used in the case study at the end. We use four specific values to help analysis these issues: public benefit, stewardship, transparency and engagement. We demonstrate how the Deliberative Framework can support ethical governance of PPPs involving biomedical big data.”


A Framework for Improving Cross-Sector Coordination for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2008

The CDC and the U.S. Department of Justice convened a Workgroup on Public Health and Law Enforcement Emergency Preparedness. “Between June 2007 and February 2008, the Workgroup members met to identify opportunities for improving cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional collaboration and to craft two other tools: a model Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for joint investigations of bioterrorism, and a guide for developing MOUs for strengthening coordinated, multi-sector responses to influenza pandemics and other infectious disease threats.” This report provides a framework for addressing and implementing disaster preparedness and response plans.

Case Study

Strengthening Multi-Sectoral Collaboration on Critical Health Issues: One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Resource Toolkit (OH-SMART) for Operationalizing One Health, PLOS ONE, Heidi M. Vesterinen et al., 2019

“Addressing critical global health issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters, requires strong coordination and management across sectors. The One Health approach is the integrative effort of multiple sectors working to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment, and is increasingly recognized by experts as a means to address complex challenges. However, practical application of the One Health approach has been challenging. The One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Resource Toolkit (OH-SMART) introduced in this paper was designed using a multistage prototyping process to support systematic improvement in multi-sectoral coordination and collaboration to better address complex health concerns through an operational, stepwise, and practical One Health approach. To date, OH-SMART has been used to strengthen One Health systems in 17 countries and has been deployed to revise emergency response frameworks, improve antimicrobial resistance national action plans and create multi agency infectious disease collaboration protocols. OH-SMART has proven to be user friendly, robust, and capable of fostering multi-sectoral collaboration and complex system-wide problem solving.”


Infectious Disease Toolkit for Continuums of Care: Preventing & Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease for People Experiencing Homelessness, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2020

“The experience of homelessness places individuals at greater risk of exposure to a variety of infectious diseases including hepatitis A, tuberculosis, and influenza, and contagious parasites including lice, scabies, and crab louse. The recent hepatitis A outbreaks occurring in multiple states throughout the country among individuals experiencing homelessness show a higher number of hospitalizations and deaths than usually reported for individuals infected with hepatitis A (CDC). The prevention and management of these health issues becomes the responsibility of a broad range of homeless service providers and other stakeholders such as public health and infectious disease specialists, emergency departments, and recovery service providers. It is essential for Continuums of Care (CoCs) to be well versed in preparedness strategies and intervention measures and to work with key stakeholders to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases among people experiencing homelessness. CoC leadership (Collaborative Applicants and CoC Boards) are responsible for ensuring that CoC homeless service providers are prepared to respond rapidly and effectively to all emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks that may adversely impact people experiencing homelessness.”

Case Study

Informal leadership and Networks: Lessons from the Response to the West Nile Virus Outbreak in North America, Expanding the Knowledge Economy: Issues, Applications, Case Studies, Theresa A. Pardo, G. Brian Burke, and J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, 2007

“Sharing information across organizational boundaries in support of a governmental response to crises requires intergovernmental collaboration and information sharing. Examining these efforts provides an opportunity to explore questions about the role of various actors in such response efforts; in particular, informal leaders. This paper, based on a comparative case analysis of the response to West Nile virus (WNV) in two US states, New York and Colorado, extends what is known about leadership by providing new understanding about how informal leadership affects collaborative information sharing. The case analysis contributes to current knowledge about government leadership in complex networked environments such as a public health crisis. A set of propositions drawn from the analysis provides a preliminary model of the mechanisms through which informal leadership affects intergovernmental information sharing in crisis response. The findings also provide lessons about the role informal leaders play in cross-boundary information sharing and, consequently, in generating government capacity to respond to complex public problems as well as the foundation for a set of recommendations for practitioners.”

Scholarly Article

Are Public-Private Partnerships the Solution to Tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases? A Systematic Review of the Literature, Health Policy, Céline Aerts, Temmy Sunyoto, Fabrizio Tediosi, and Elisa Sicuri, 2017

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“Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to invest in research and development (R&D) of products for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) mainly due to the low ability-to-pay of health insurance systems and of potential consumers. The available preventive and curative interventions for NTDs mostly rely on old technologies and products that are often not adequate. Moreover, NTDs mostly affect populations living in remote rural areas and conflict zones, thereby hampering access to healthcare. The challenges posed by NTDs have led to the proliferation of a variety of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the last decades. We conducted a systematic review to assess the functioning and impact of these partnerships on the development of and access to better technologies for NTDs. Our systematic review revealed a clear lack of empirical assessment of PPPs: we could not find any impact evaluation analyses, while these are crucial to realize the full potential of PPPs and to progress further towards NTDs elimination.”

Scholarly Article

A Community Partnership to Respond to an Outbreak: A Model that can be Replicated for Future Events, Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, Maria T. Carney et al., 2014

Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) formed a multi-sector partnership with hospitals, physicians, and community organizations to address the influenza pandemic. This article highlights the NCDOH’s efforts to “partner with the community utilizing a three-phase model to communicate, plan, and implement a strategy to ease the fear that existed and to minimize the illness in the region.”

Scholarly Article

Integration of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for the Prevention and Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Rationale for Inter-Sectoral Collaboration, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Matthew C. Freeman et al., 2013

“Improvements of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and appropriate health-seeking behavior are necessary for achieving sustained control, elimination, or eradication of many neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Indeed, the global strategies to fight NTDs include provision of WASH, but few programs have specific WASH targets and approaches. Collaboration between disease control programs and stakeholders in WASH is a critical next step. A group of stakeholders from the NTD control, child health, and WASH sectors convened in late 2012 to discuss opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration. The group agreed on a common vision, namely Disease-free communities that have adequate and equitable access to water and sanitation, and that practice good hygiene.’ Four key areas of collaboration were identified, including (i) advocacy, policy, and communication; (ii) capacity building and training; (iii) mapping, data collection, and monitoring; and (iv) research. We discuss strategic opportunities and ways forward for enhanced collaboration between the WASH and the NTD sectors.”

Scholarly Article

Intersectoral Collaboration for the Prevention and Control of Vector Borne Diseases to Support the Implementation of a Global Strategy: A Systematic Review, PLoS One, Herdiana Herdiana, Jana Fitria Kartika Sari, and Maxine Whittaker, 2018

“Vector Borne Diseases (VBDs) have a major impact on public health and socio-economic development. Inter-sectoral collaboration was recommended as one of the key elements of Integrated Vector Management (IVM), however limited evidence measures the effect and contribution of intersectoral approaches including but not only IVM. This systematic review aims to assess the existing evidence on all forms of inter-sectoral collaboration in VBD control and prevention, identify any gaps and develop a framework from a global perspective.”