Launch of the Data Access Committee

11 April 2017

TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, have convened an independent Data Access Committee to support WWARN data contributors in making decisions on access to malaria datasets.

WWARN is updating the technical, governance and ethical framework of its data-sharing platform to help researchers meet the demands of funders and journals by promoting different options in how they make their data accessible. These new options will continue to protect the rights and privacy of the people and communities from which the data originate, and recognise the investment of the researchers who conducted the studies and collected the data.

To accomplish this transition, TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, has convened an independent Data Access Committee to review applications for access to data held within the WWARN repository. Data contributors will soon be able to decide between two data sharing models - delegate decisions about data access to the committee or retain decision-making power each and every time an analysis is done.

Members of the committee include:

  • Piero Olliaro, TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, Switzerland (non-voting Chair)
  • Mahamadou Thera, University of Bamako, Mali
  • Jantina de Vries, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Martin Meremikwu, University of Calabar, Nigeria
  • Lyda Osorio, Universidad del Valle, Colombia
  • Neena Valecha, National Institute of Malaria Research, India
  • Huynh Hong Quang, Institute of Malariology Parasitology and Entomology, Vietnam.

The committee members were nominated by the malaria research community and selected to ensure representation from malaria endemic regions, a range of expertise, gender balance, and a range of institutions.

The committee will make decisions about data access only on datasets where data contributors have delegated decision-making power to the Data Access Committee. The committee will be responsible for reviewing applications from researchers wishing to use data held in the WWARN repository. Those requesting data will be required to list the datasets requested, how the data will be used, and how the original contributors will be credited. If the application for data is approved by the DAC, data will be released to the requestor under an agreement which secures the terms of use.

The committee are now developing terms of operation and decision-making. When complete, these will be shared with the malaria community and data contributors will be invited to decide if they would like to delegate decisions to the committee. The option for the data contributor to retain decision-making power will remain.

To find out more about the committee or the updates to the data access process, visit the Data Access Committee. If you have further questions, please email us on malariaDAC [at] iddo [dot] org.