Chapter 4: Roles, Responsibilities, Governance

updated on 01 June 2022

Objective

To learn what are the required roles for a PODD implementation and what each role is responsible for.

Overview

The PODD project is governed by three pillars: Government, Community, and Technology. Relevant government, community, and non-governmental organizations should be involved as early as possible. It is important to know the PODD roles and responsibilities of national, regional and district levels, since assigning responsibilities prior to an outbreak reduces the need to divert time and energy during the outbreak. 

Governance

The exact organizational structure will depend on each country, however usually these 3 organizations are required.

  • The Lead Organization must be identified as the point-of-contact and champion for the entire PODD project. They can be from any pillar, government, community, or the private sector. 
  • The Government Sponsor is important for the long-term sustainability of PODD in the community. PODD without government buy-in is like data without action.
  • The Response/Investigation Team should coordinate outbreak preparedness and respond to potential outbreaks. The team should meet continuously even when no outbreaks are present. The team should include members of each pillar, government, community, and technology partners.

PODD Roles & Responsibilities

The Roles & Responsibilities in a typical PODD project vary by country, but it is still important to consider which roles might apply to your community. 

Government Roles

The Livestock Officer works with local government to prepare for animal outbreaks using PODD and to teach preventive measures in the community, such as sustainable agricultural practices. 

The Public Health Officer ensures the safety of the community, and works with local government to communicate the importance of PODD in protecting their community. 

The Disease Control Officer is usually a member of the Response/Investigation Team and will coordinate with local veterinarians to take blood samples from suspected animals to confirm an outbreak. 

The Local Government Official facilitates collaboration between the community and the local government. They are essential for effective communication between PODD pillars. This helps improve response times to suspected outbreaks and contains disease spread. 

Community Roles

The Village Volunteers are the most important part of PODD. They are the frontline defense against pandemics. Village Volunteers can be farmers or any member of the local community who wants to help PODD. Once each volunteer receives PODD training on animal health and disease prevention, they become Disease Detectives. They report abnormal health events via the PODD app and coordinate with response teams if necessary.

The Village Leader is responsible for getting people excited about PODD. The sustainability depends on the Village Leader convincing their community that PODD will protect them and their livelihoods. They must be a well-known and respected leader in the community. 

The Village Coordinator is typically a government representative or member of the Response/Investigation Team who facilitates day-to-day operations between the Volunteers and the PODD staff. They make sure that volunteers are able to report health events using PODD correctly, and that response teams can locate outbreaks quickly.

The Veterinarian is essential for investigating animals reported by PODD, quarantining sick animals, and giving medicine or treatment to them if necessary.

Technology Roles

Some IT Support Staff may be necessary for diagnosing any issues with the system, and for administering the PODD software for local officials.

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