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Our publications keep professionals working across the public, private, and academic sectors informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.

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Placing Global Biosecurity Engagement Programs Under the Umbrella of Global Health Security

Michelle Rozo
Date posted:
May 01, 2014
Publication type:
Issue brief

FAS Issue Brief

Federation of American Scientists
Available on publisher's website
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Global biosecurity engagement programs designed to prevent misuse of biological agents and pathogens internationally have increased dramatically under the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats (NSCBT), which outlined the commitment of the United States Government towards advancing health security.1 But it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of these programs in improving biosecurity given that there have been relatively few attempts to misuse the life sciences. Current metrics that focus on outputs (what was done) as opposed to outcomes (the impact of what was done) have not been helpful in determining how these efforts might be improved in the future. With these metrics in mind, the goals of the programs have traditionally been more quantitative in nature – for example, increasing the number of agents secured and number of scientists engaged. Broadening the scope of biosecurity engagement metrics can help align program goals with a more qualitative approach that prioritizes the international partner’s global health security. Such an approach will be more efficient and successful in improving global and U.S. national biosecurity.



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