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D2R2: an evidence-based decision support tool to aid prioritisation of animal health issues for government funding
  1. J. C. Gibbens, BVetMed, MSc(TropVetSci), MSc(Epidem), MRCVS, DipECVPH1,
  2. A. J. Frost, BSc, BVetMed, MRCVS1,
  3. C. W. Houston, BSc, MSc, DLSHTM, PhD2,
  4. H. Lester, BSc, MSc, PhD3 and
  5. F. A. Gauntlett, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD4
  1. 1Animal and Plant Health Agency, Defra, Nobel House, London SW1P 3JR, UK
  2. 2Beef+Lamb New Zealand, P.O. Box 121, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
  3. 3Westpoint Veterinary Group, Clinical Research, Dawes Farm, Warnham, RH12 3SH
  4. 4Chief Scientific Adviser's Office, Defra, Nobel House, London SW1P 3JR, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: andrew.frost{at}


An evidence-based decision support tool, ‘D2R2’, has been developed by Defra. It contains a wide range of standardised information about exotic and endemic diseases held in ‘disease profiles’. Each profile includes 40 criteria used for scoring, enabling D2R2 to provide relative priority rankings for every disease profiled. D2R2 also provides a range of reports for each disease and the functionality to explore the impact of changes in any criterion or weighting on a disease's ranking. These outputs aid the prioritisation and management of animal diseases by government. D2R2 was developed with wide stakeholder engagement and its design was guided by clear specifications. It uses the weighted scores of a limited number of criteria to generate impact and risk scores for each disease, and relies on evidence drawn from published material wherever possible and maintained up to date. It allows efficient use of expertise, as maintained disease profiles reduce the need for on call, reactive, expert input for policy development and enables rapid simultaneous access to the same information by multiple parties, for example during exotic disease outbreaks. The experience in developing D2R2 has been shared internationally to assist others with their development of disease prioritisation and categorisation systems.

  • Disease surveillance
  • Diseases
  • Disease investigation
  • Disease control
  • Economics
  • Epidemiology
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