Salzburg Global Seminar and Ending Pandemics Create One Health Timeliness Metrics

November 12, 2019

Coinciding with the fourth annual One Health Day, participants of Salzburg Global Seminar and Ending Pandemics’ latest program have designed the first-ever set of One Health timeliness metrics and prototyped a framework for implementation.

Specialists in environmental, livestock, wildlife, and human health from across the globe spent the past few days at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria as active participants in the program Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance.


In November 2018, Salzburg Global Seminar and Ending Pandemics ran a program that produced a set of metrics for measuring progress in finding and responding to human health outbreaks faster.

These metrics have now been adopted by the World Health Organization and other agencies. The participants in this year’s program broke new ground in expanding the application of this approach to One Health.

One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach that recognizes the health of people, animals, and the environment are connected. The timeliness metrics will enable One Health stakeholders to measure their performance in finding outbreaks faster to save lives and protect livelihoods.

On November 3 each year, One Health Day is marked across the world. It is a campaign that brings attention to the need for a One Health approach to address shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface.

During this year’s program, participants engaged with panel discussions, presentations, and group work to design One Health metrics. Initial discussions centered on operationalizing One Health surveillance and identifying metrics for human, animal, and environmental health.

A few examples of timeliness metrics developed through a highly interactive, iterative process include time to detect an unusual or adverse health event, time to initiation of a multisectoral investigation, and time to implementation of control measures.

Moving forward, Ending Pandemics will process the many ideas generated at the program and produce a One Health framework to be openly shared and promoted globally. Participants mapped out an action plan through 2021 and offered commitments to push this plan forward.

For more information about One Health Day, please visit

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