Pre-conference: Scenario-based workshop Pandemic Preparedness  

Tuesday 12 November, 13:30 – 17:00 Lisbon time (starting with network lunch at 12:30)

Organised by

Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center, Erasmus MC, Netherlands  


After Covid-19, evaluation and advisory reports have indicated the need for a more interdisciplinary approach and integrated advice framework for pandemics. We are currently facing a worldwide Avian Influenza H5N1 pandemic among wild birds and poultry, with various cases of infected mammals and mammal-to-mammal transmission of the virus. Globally, there have been increased detections of A(H5N1) viruses in non-avian species including wild and domestic (including companion and farmed) terrestrial and marine mammals and, more recently in goats and dairy cattle in the United States of America. Since the beginning of 2021, 28 detections of A(H5N1) in humans have been reported to WHO, including a case who had exposure to dairy cattle presumed to be infected with A(H5N1) virus. Avian Influenza has the capability, through mutation or reassortment, to transform into a human-to-human transmissible virus.[1]

in this scenario-based workshop, we will simulate a global avian influenza pandemic, challenging the participants to create an interdisciplinary response and advice to decision makers. The workshop is intended for participants with expertise from various domains and will be divided into two parts.

During the first part the participants will be divided into groups; a biomedical outbreak team and a socio-economic team, as closely related to their own expertise as possible. Participants are asked to come up with measures to contain or limit the outbreak of the virus from the perspective of these teams. We call on the knowledge of the participants on the one hand and provide knowledge injects from the various relevant disciplines on the other hand.

in the second part, participants will navigate the complexities of outbreak response through an interdisciplinary advice framework by integrating perspectives from diverse fields including epidemiology, veterinary science, public health, policymaking, economics, social sciences and communication. They will explore which skills are needed to achieve a successful integration of these perspectives and which values are underneath these perspectives. Finally, the participants are tasked with proposing additional mitigating measures to adjust and reevaluate the impact of their first measures.

The participants will be guided through this scenario-based exercise to explore the skills of teamwork, open communication, critical thinking, and decision-making under pressure. Future pandemics demand swift and effective collaboration across disciplines for integrated advice addressing diverse consequences and priorities. We conducted an avian influenza outbreak simulation to explore whether and how integrated scientific advice can be developed in such crisis situations.  


The programme of the pre-conference will follow shortly.


The registration fee is EUR 75. Networking lunch and refreshments are included. Number of registrations is limited to 50 persons.