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Panorama PerspectivesThe digital transformation supporting the OIE Observatory, and vice versa

Perspectives Posted on 2021-12-20 15:05:33

The digital transformation supporting the OIE Observatory, and vice versa


Matthew Stone(1) & Audrey Thery(2)

(1) Former Deputy Director General, International Standards and Science, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
(2) Head of Department, Digital Transformation and Information Systems, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

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Digital transformation is identified as a key objective in the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE’s) Seventh Strategic Plan, and is an important response to the need to become a more modern and agile organisation. This is a vital shift in view of the increasing use of information technologies to support regulation for animal health, animal welfare and veterinary public health.

The OIE is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of a large volume of official data, through various platforms and processes. OIE data support both national decision-makers and the international community in making evidence-based decisions. Managing data to provide added value is becoming an increasingly complex and digitally driven task. It requires organisations that are responsible for compiling, managing and communicating data to do so from a structured and strategic perspective, in line with best international practices. In recognition of its role as a steward of global animal health data, the OIE must ensure that its data governance systems manage data securely and provide access to validated data sets for the international community. It is hoped that, in this way, these data will become a valuable resource from which important insights and information can be gained: a process helped by ensuring compatibility with data from other trusted external sources. The development of a strong digital culture will be crucial to driving innovative data use and supporting the digital transformation of the OIE.

At present, the OIE is defining its expectations of data stewardship through the establishment of a data governance framework. These expectations include demonstrating responsible management of data and enhancing access to data for Members while respecting concerns for privacy and intellectual property. This work will provide essential organisation-wide rules and processes while also determining the development and direction of each of our key information systems, including those contributed to regularly by OIE Members (e.g. World Animal Health Information System; antimicrobial usage; Performance of Veterinary Services; official recognition of animal health status).

The OIE Observatory will use data from multiple OIE work-streams, and also from external sources. Developing prototypes helps us to understand what data already exist, and in what forms; how analytical processes applied to these data can serve the OIE Observatory’s objectives; and how the results of these analyses can be presented to OIE work-stream managers and OIE Members to provide the greatest impact in driving better implementation of the OIE international standards. Prototyping will enable each of the OIE work-streams identified in the OIE Observatory’s standards monitoring framework to be ready to make systematic and ongoing contributions to the OIE Observatory annual standards implementation report.

The OIE Observatory is providing the impetus for the development of information systems that support data interoperability, repeatable value-added analytical processes, intuitive and informative data visualisations, and feedback loops for system improvements. In this way, the OIE Observatory is acting as a strong driving force for digital transformation and data stewardship across the OIE’s Member-centred programmes.
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