Costs and benefits of pandemic preparedness

The Jameel Institute-Kenneth C. Griffin Initiative for the Economics of Pandemic Preparedness will use pioneering integrated economic-epidemiological modelling to provide critical data and analysis to inform public health decisions related to pandemic preparedness and disease outbreaks around the world.

Under the leadership of Katharina Hauck, Professor for Health Economics and Deputy Director of the Jameel Institute, the new initiative brings together epidemiologists, economists and data modellers from across Imperial, together with researchers from Imperial College Business School, the World Health Organisation and Singapore’s Programme For Research In Epidemic Preparedness And Response (PREPARE), National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and Umeå University in Sweden. 

Initially working with five countries including Singapore, the team will produce a publicly available digital scenario-based dashboard modelling preparedness levels of over 150 countries, as well as deep-dive studies on specific preparedness interventions. It will also provide evidence on the impact of alternative policy strategies - to governments, international health organisations and businesses, and work with partners to create a clear case for investing in pandemic preparedness. 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the vital importance of accurate projections and modelling to prevent deaths. Unfortunately, they had much less reliable evidence on the enormous social and economic impacts of pandemic mitigation. Our mission is to establish a robust and trusted methodology to forecast the potential human impact of future pandemics, across health and the economy. We’re excited to be able to play a central role in this hugely important space moving forward and are grateful for the continued support from Community Jameel and Kenneth Griffin.” - Professor Katharina Hauck 

DAEDALUS: A policy defining tool during COVID-19

Developed by the Jameel Institute, DAEDALUS is an integrated economic–epidemiological model that computes the optimal trajectory of selective opening and closing of economic sectors that maximizes GDP while keeping infections under control. During the COVID-19 pandemic, DAEDALUS has provided concrete policy guidance on smart opening and closure strategies differentiated by economic sectors. Before the development of this tool, there was very little evidence on how to optimally design lockdown policies during pandemics. By necessity, DAEDALUS is based on many assumptions, but it has provided urgently needed guidance to policymakers on how to design policies that balance key societal objectives. With a few changes to the epidemiological and economic parameters, DAEDALUS can be applied to any country and respiratory pandemic that requires mitigation measures. It will continue to be a vital modelling tool for many years to come.

We are deeply grateful for Community Jameel's support of this vital initiative. Thank you for enabling our researchers provide tangible solutions that equitably meet the needs of all communities and help ensure global resilience to future pandemic threats.

Read more about the initiative.