What is the Observatory?
Developing international standards for animal health and welfare based on the latest scientific information lies at the heart of the OIE’s mandate. The OIE Standards are not legally binding. Yet, when OIE Members vote for their adoption at the OIE annual General Session, they commit to translating them into their national legislation.
The implementation of OIE Standards at country level can come with its challenges, such as the lack of financial or human resources or the lack of relevant infrastructures. The extent to which they are put into practice remains unclear. A new programme has been established to provide an overview of the uptake of International Standards by OIE Members: the OIE Observatory.
The Observatory is a continuous and systematic mechanism designed to analyse the implementation of the OIE International Standards by using information regularly collected by various OIE activities, as well as external sources.
This monitoring framework will eventually increase engagement between OIE Members and key stakeholders in compliance with the Standards. Following a testing phase, the first Observatory outputs will be published in 2022 and the programme is expected to reach full speed in 2025.
A data-driven approach for improved animal health systems
Today’s digital revolution has opened a whole new world of possibilities to improve the sustainability of animal health systems. At the same time, the need for data has never been greater. Reliable data support national authorities and the international community in risk management and evidence-based decision-making. This is a key asset to building stronger terrestrial and aquatic animal health systems worldwide and achieving improved global health.
The Observatory is a data-driven programme as well as a crucial component of the OIE’s digital transformation. The quality of the data provided by OIE Members and collected from external sources will allow the identification of specific needs for each country and will suggest improvements in the Organisation’s standard-setting process and other relevant activities.
The Observatory also demonstrates the value of a rule-based international system, in a context where it is challenged. By increasing transparency on the standards’ uptake, the Observatory contributes to the progressive harmonisation of national sanitary rules to protect animal health and welfare as well as international trade. The mechanism will therefore prove beneficial to governments, the private sector and civil society alike.
Why monitor the implementation of standards?
To better support OIE Members in a global context where cross-border issues are becoming increasingly complex, threatening the erosion of trust between trading partners, the OIE reports on how its International Standards are put into practice to deliver on its commitment to respond to the needs of its Members.
Monitoring the implementation of Standards pursues various purposes:
Identifying what challenges OIE members face to implement the Standards
Supporting members in their efforts to put the Standards into practice
Identifying success stories around the Standards and incentives and promoting the implementation
Ensuring that the standards are fit for purpose by taking the findings back into the Standards-setting process
Identifying areas of improvement and proposing solutions to processes or services offered to Members that may not be fully answering their needs
How does the Observatory work?
The Observatory will follow a standardised procedure to accomplish its goals. Tapping into the power of data, the Observatory measures capabilities and performances, carries out analyses and draws conclusions upon the gathered information.
- Retrieving data from existing data sets (internal or external)
- Gathering new data when relevant
- Cleaning data
- Selecting indicators
- Annually measuring indicators and trends
- Progressively refining indicators
Drawing evidence-based decisions
- Understanding the challenges faced by OIE Members in implementing Standards
- Evaluating the relevance and efficiency of Standards
- Identifying gaps in the implementation of standards and in the suitability of the OIE processes and services.
- Making concrete recommendations
- Using data visualisation to present intelligence that can inform decision-making, while preserving confidentiality
- Encouraging better quality data submission
Rolling out strategies
- Enhancing the data management system and OIE services
- Identifying capacity building needs to strengthen Standards implementation
The Observatory within the OIE
The Observatory is a transversal programme that contributes to the progressive improvement of OIE activities by providing feedback and suggestions on the data collection and information storage systems. Additionally, it identifies gaps and ways to improve the OIE’s services and processes.
The data provided by the Observatory will also help monitor how the OIE and donors’ investments meet their goals.
Case study: the Prototype on African Swine Fever
The OIE collects a large quantity of information from across its different departments. In the pilot phase of the Observatory, several prototypes were developed to identify the best data sources and indicators to gauge the implementation of Standards and transform that data into relevant intelligence.
The last prototype focused on African swine fever (ASF), given the impact of this disease in various regions at multiple levels and for which the OIE, jointly with FAO, has developed a Global Initiative under the GF-TADs‘ umbrella.
The ASF prototype builds on lessons learned from previous studies carried out by the Observatory and provides a critical analysis of the suitability of various groups of indicators for the annual review report, due in late 2022. It also proposes different means to present findings as well as data visualisation.
This case study on ASF includes the following four documents:
The following points are the highlights of this ASF prototype:
of OIE Members have ASF as a notifiable disease at national level, apply surveillance in domestic animals AND have a national Reference Laboratory for ASF
of OIE Members that have reported the absence of ASF in their country have requested that the OIE publishes a self-declaration of ASF freedom
of the OIE Members with a contingency plan for ASF in 2018 have reported a simulation exercise on ASF in the past 15 years
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