Newswise — WASHINGTON (Sept. 6, 2017) -- Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security announces the launch of a free, web-based tool that allows national leaders to calculate costs of developing the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats. 

The “costing tool” provides a realistic, country-specific estimate to develop the core capacities needed to be compliant with International Health Regulations (IRH), a legally binding international law covering 196 countries.

The IHR set standards for national capacities needed to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats. To help countries identify and prioritize capacity-building needs, the World Health Organization adopted the “joint external evaluation tool” (JEE).

“We know what is needed and how to evaluate countries as they build the required capacity, but there’s an important piece of this effort missing,” explains Rebecca Katz, PhD, MPH, co-director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Stakeholders and their international partners have struggled to define the costs of strengthening and maintaining health security systems. There hasn’t been a way to accurately define the cost required to build public health infrastructure around the world.  Our IHR costing tool fills that void.”

The tool provides a framework to calculate costs for implementing and enhancing IHR core capacities. The cost calculations are developed using an algorithm that calculates costs based on best practices for achieving the technical standards specified in the JEE.

The interactive results summarize cost information by core capacity with ability to view costs by type and by start-up, recurring annual costs, or a 5-year cost estimate.

The tool is based on a methodology developed by the Georgetown research team and validated in case study countries spanning multiple regions. It was developed in collaboration with Talus Analytics.

“This costing tool, in combination with the JEE and financing tools already available, represents a significant step in helping national and international decision makers develop and implement practical plans to improve global health security,” Katz says.

About the Center for Global Health Science and Security
The Center for Global Health Science and Security (GHSS) is based at Georgetown University Medical Center. GHSS scientists conduct research to help build sustainable capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies worldwide. Connect with GHSS on Twitter: @georgetown_ghss.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. Connect with GUMC on Facebook (, Twitter (@gumedcenter) and Instagram (@gumedcenter).